Alice V. Leahy Food Pantry Open to University Community
By Kelly Nee | Managing Editor
SCRANTON – The Alice V. Leahy Food Pantry is an on-campus resource open to students, faculty and staff in need, as well as residents of the greater Scranton area.
The pantry is stocked with typical canned and boxed goods, in addition to different frozen and refrigerated items that vary with the donation cycle. The pantry also has a variety of toiletries and school supplies.
The pantry is located in the Leahy Center, which is in the lower level of McGurrin Hall. They are open on Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m.
Dr. Andrea Mantione is the director of the Leahy Community Health and Family Center, and says that she is always available for separate pick-up times in a private setting if anyone feels uncomfortable coming during regular hours.
The pantry receives food and supplies from many different sources, including campus food drives, community donations and end-of-year drives in the residence halls. They also receive help from churches such as St. Gregory’s parish in Clarks Summit.
Mantione said the pantry also works with CEO/Weinberg food bank, which is an organization that supplies most of the food pantries in the region. She places big food orders with them and some of the pantry’s 50 student volunteers stock the shelves.
University of Scranton senior Elly Prusinowski is one of these volunteers. She is the food pantry’s volunteer manager and has been with the food pantry for all of her four years. When Prusinowski began volunteering with The Alice V. Leahy Food Pantry, she saw how giving people a few bags of food could really make a big change.
“I recognized the need in the community and wanted to contribute in any small way that I could,” Prusinowski said.
Prusinowski is in the Pre-Medical Program here at the university and says her work with the food pantry has shaped her view of medicine as service.
Mantione said the pantry tries to operate on different days from other local pantries to allow people access to food whenever it best fits into their schedule, particularly with the price of food increasing.
Mantione said that Lackawanna County is a food desert and many people are in need, which is why The Alice V. Leahy Food Pantry is a great way to perform a needed service and fulfill the Jesuit mission.
“You can’t make someone healthy unless they are eating good food and their stomachs are full and they don’t have to worry about feeding their families,” Mantione said.
Students, faculty and staff are asked to call 570-941-6488 to make an appointment for pickup during these hours, although if volunteers are working in the pantry outside of these hours they will not be turned away. There is both an English and Spanish phone line for people to leave a message.
For more information, visit https://www.scranton.edu/academics/pcps/leahy/food%20pantry/pantry.shtml.