Campus-Wide Efforts Restock SUNY Canton Food Pantry


The greater campus community is helping to make sure that no one goes hungry at SUNY Canton.

A recent food drive helped completely restock the SUNY Canton Food Pantry, which has helped combat student food insecurity for the past 15 years.

Students Amelia Hellijas and Alyssa Fowler stand with a portion of the donations collected for the SUNY Canton Food Pantry. The two students orchestrated a campus-wide food drive for their First-Year Experience Program class.

“I’m very appreciative of the efforts to restock our pantry especially as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Courtney B. Bish. “It is very admirable to see the campus come together to support students through these donations.”

Two students helped lead the charge by setting up tables and collecting donations around campus. Amelia H. Hellijas of Malone and Alyssa R. Fowler of Harrisville learned about the college’s food pantry while enrolled in the First Year Experience Program and created a food drive when they learned stores were running low. The students chose to take on the time-intensive community service project as an alternative to preparing a short presentation in their class.

Amelia Hellijas and Alyssa Fowler stack a shelf in the SUNY Canton food pantry.

In all, about 16 full boxes were donated to the counseling center, which oversees the collection and distribution of food.

“There are still donations trickling in,” said Counseling Center Secretary 1 Tammy Harradine. “These contributions will help many students.”

The college’s Physical Plant staff also participated in the drive, adding another 160 individual non-perishable items and a monetary donation. Physical Plant Director Patrick G. Hanss held a raffle for the donors to help incentivize the collection efforts. Plant Superintendent Martin J. Avery won the raffle, but then donated the proceeds to the SUNY Canton College Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund.

“Many of the Physical Plant staff develop friendships with students, particularly the Building Services staff assigned to our residence halls,” Hanss said.

Physical Plant Director Patrick Hanss and Physical Plant Secretary Tammy Carr stand with the donations collected in Cooper Service Center for the food drive.

Physical Plant Director Patrick Hanss and Physical Plant Secretary Tammy Carr stand with the donations collected in Cooper Service Center for the food drive.

Earlier in the semester, the College Association Inc., which oversees all food and retail operations on campus, made a substantial donation to the food pantry as part of a team-building exercise. The organization contributed more than $600 in food to kick off the semester.

The SUNY Canton Food Pantry provides free confidential services for students who are in need of food or other supplies.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.