SUNY Canton Renames Food Pantry to Honor Watertown’s Renzi Family


The Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation of Watertown is making sure SUNY Canton students will not go hungry through a multi-year charitable gift.

In the latest of a series of donations to the SUNY Canton College Foundation, Inc., the company pledged $25,000 over five years to the Student Emergency Fund. In recognition of the generous donation, the college has added the Renzi name to its Food Pantry.

Students help stock the food pantry.

In a pre-pandemic photo, SUNY Canton students Amelia H. Hellijas of Malone and Alyssa R. Fowler of Harrisville shelve donations in the Renzi Food Pantry.

“The Renzi family is no stranger to philanthropy and continually supports their community through their charitable foundation,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Advancement Tracey L. Thompson. “Their donation will go miles toward addressing students’ food insecurities. We are exceptionally grateful for their continuing support.”

The Renzi Food Pantry is currently housed in the Center for Diversities and Inclusions in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center. The college plans to hold an official naming ceremony at a later date.

This donation came in at a critical time as the Foundation was campaigning to raise funding in support of college-wide COVID-19 relief efforts. The pledge helped push overall contributions past the goal. The State University of New York Chancellor’s Office then matched $50,000 of the donations collected.

SUNY Canton United University Professions President James L. Hamilton helps restock the Renzi Food Pantry with donations during the fall 2020 semester.

SUNY Canton United University Professions President James L. Hamilton helps restock the Renzi Food Pantry with donations during the fall 2020 semester.

“Hunger should never be a part of a college education,” said JoAnne Renzi Wise, Renzi Foodservice director of marketing and community relations. “We’ve established our reputation on a commitment to service, which includes supporting the communities that we serve. We’re proud to be associated with a project that helps the college continue its mission to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students.”

Increased funding will allow the Pantry to expand its inventory. There are plans to add a refrigerator and restock the supplies for the Spring 2021 semester. As many as 100 students use the pantry’s confidential services over the course of a typical semester.

This was the third major gift contributed by Renzi Foodservice and will be the third location named in their honor. In 2006, the family contributed the funding to name a space in the Campus Center “The Renzi Atrium.” Interestingly, students walk through the Renzi Atrium to access the Renzi Food Pantry. In 2014, the family gave again in support of Joey’s Eatery in the recently constructed Roos House Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center. The family’s overall philanthropic efforts led them to be inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame.

About Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation: 

Renzi Foodservice's commitment to service is the foundation of their Delivering the Difference mission. In 2014, Renzi established their charitable foundation partnering with the Northern New York Community Foundation in an effort to formalize their community reinvestment efforts in support of nonprofit organizations. "As one of the largest family-owned and operated broad-line foodservice distributors in Upstate and Central New York, we have a corporate responsibility to set an example of leadership giving; which is fundamental to our personal values, beliefs, integrity and operating philosophy," said Jude Renzi, Renzi Foodservice CEO. "By partnering with the NNY Community Foundation, it ensures that small and large contributions to our local organizations are done effectively and efficiently; reinforcing our commitment to giving back to the communities that have given us so much."


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.