About the Food Pantry

Mission Statement

Our mission is to relieve hunger through the acquisition and distribution of food to those students who need it most. We strive to lead our campus community in the fight against hunger and the stigma associated with food insecurity.

Columbia University is, above everything else, a community. When one of us is in need, we respond. The difficulty of an Ivy League education is further compounded when hunger is a constant presence. As a result, The Food Pantry envisions a campus in which every student, regardless of their affiliation or socioeconomic status, has sufficient access to nutritious food.


The Food Pantry began as a student-run organization that provided free and confidential food assistance to all Columbia students, regardless of income or financial aid status. 

The pantry's history is one of resilience and community. It began in the Fall of 2014 with a conversation amongst students from the First Generation- Low Income Partnership (FLIP) brainstorming ideas on how to address food insecurity on campus, which ultimately led to the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) creating a partnership with FLIP to address food insecurity. The pantry's founders were determined to create a space where students could come to get the food they needed, without shame or stigma. During the Fall of 2017, The Food Pantry’s first permanent location was opened in the Fall of 2017 at its current location in Lerner Hall run entirely by students as a formally recognized student organization dedicated to providing free and confidential food assistance to all Columbia students, regardless of income or financial aid status. With the increasing need and expansion of services, the pantry opened its second location at 50 Haven Avenue serving students at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center opening in February 2020 and Reopening after the pandemic during Spring 2023.

Today the Food Pantry is housed within the Center for Student Success and Intervention. It is supported by a Student Support Specialist a full-time staff member who works collaboratively with the Student Board to support the food pantry operations and focus on enhancing students' access to basic needs. The Food Pantry is a vital resource for students on campus serving thousands of students annually. It is a place where students can come to get access to food and products they need to succeed, without shame or stigma.

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