UCF student pantry visits increase, school raising money to meet demand

The impact of inflation is hitting one part of the community especially hard. Some college students are making the tough choice between things like schools supplies and food. Many are visiting the Knights Helping Knights Pantry on the University of Central Florida's campus to find some of the things they need, but may not have enough money to buy. 

Isabella Martinez stops by UCF's pantry daily. Working her way up and down the aisles. 

"My grants and money - I use that for classes," said Martinez, "Come here if I don't have enough money to buy food for the month." 

The school estimates about 40 percent of students are food insecure.  As grocery prices tick higher and budgets get tighter….so have pantry visits this semester. 

The number of visits jumped to more than 3,500 last month - which is the highest level in two years.

"Was averaging about 100 students a day," said Rubuta Morency, Pantry Manager, "The Knights pantry was started by a group of lead scholars who understood some students have to choose between necessary things they need for class or even eating."

The pantry was started in 2009 and helps make it so students don't have to choose.

And it's not just food. Clothing, school supplies, toiletries are also available. There's no cash register in the pantry because everything is free for students. 

The pantry remains stocked based on donations from community partners and even local students. 

As part of the Day of Giving, UCF is hoping to generate new donations to keep up with the increased demand. The fundraising event seeks to reach 5,000 donors to aid programs that range from emergency housing funds, supplies for student veterans, and the Knights Helping Knights Pantry. 

If you're interested in donating, visit Knights Helping Knights Pantry • Student Union • UCF

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