Since 2015, the Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry has assisted members of the University of Florida campus community who experience food insecurity. At a groundbreaking ceremony on May 7, UF announced it will expand the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry.
“With the Pantry, we’ve always sought to create a space that supports students and helps eliminate stigma that is so often associated with food insecurity,” said Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Heather White. “The expanded space will truly allow us to provide the student body a synergy between care, support and education.”
The UF Field & Fork Campus Food Program provides opportunities for collaboration and learning in sustainable agriculture and food systems. The program is administratively housed in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and operates a small urban farm on campus. The Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry was launched in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs to benefit those lacking reliable sources of nutritious food.
The second phase of the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry will provide more space to display nonperishable food items and fresh produce from the Field & Fork Farm and Gardens, a dedicated area for storage and processing of donations, and a demonstration area.
“We look forward to providing additional educational resources for our campus community through this expansion,” said College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean Elaine Turner. “The added space will allow us to offer more cooking demonstrations as well as education about healthy food choices and seasonal produce to help our community make the farm-to-table connection.”
Since its opening, the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry has conducted nearly 39,000 transactions. More than 5,000 pounds of produce from the Field & Fork Farm and Gardens are donated to the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry each year.
“The Pantry has made a difference in my life because it allows me to focus on my classes, instead of where my next meal will come from,” said Angela Rodriguez, who graduated in May 2018 from UF with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
While construction of the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry is underway, this resource will continue to serve the UF community in a temporary location in Rawlings Hall. Anyone with a valid UF ID is welcome to use the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry. It is suggested guests take only enough supplies to last them about a week. The expanded Pantry is expected to re-open in the fall.
The Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry thrives on the generosity of its partners and friends. The expansion of this resource was made possible by a leadership gift from Alan and Cathy Hitchcock, founders of Hitchcock’s Markets, that was then used to secure additional funding.
For more information about the Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry expansion or learn how to get involved, visit https://pantry.fieldandfork.ufl.edu/groundbreaking/