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Food Lion's "Food Lion Feeds" program and Livingstone College have opened a food pantry within the school's Ballard Hall. The on-campus pantry will be open to commuting students from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Named for the college's athletic teams, "[t]he Blue Bear Pantry will assist our students by enabling them to have well-balanced diets that are consistent with maintaining proper nourishment, which is part of our Holistic College approach to learning," said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., president of Salisbury, N.C.-based Livingstone. "Students who don't live on campus have additional financial obligations to handle, and we're certain the food pantry will help ease challenges that may be associated with that. It's no secret that a student with a healthy body and mind is more likely to perform better in the classroom than one who is deficient."
With the opening of the pantry, Livingstone has become one of 100 institutions of higher learning nationwide to offer on-campus food pantries.
Food Lion Feeds donated more than 5,000 meals to fill the pantry's shelves and sent local store associates to help prepare for the grand opening. The pantry is expected to serve about 225 students weekly.
"Food Lion is committed to working with local partners to help end hunger in our communities, and recent data from Feeding America suggests that nearly 10 percent of food bank clients are college students," noted Meg Ham, the chain’s president. “By providing this support, we are able to help students bridge the hunger gap while in school.”
The Livingstone pantry is among a dozen located within colleges in North Carolina. As well as Livingstone, Food Lion Feeds supports three other college campus pantries, including fellow Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) school Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, N.C.
Also based in Salisbury, Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has pledged to provide 500 million meals to needy people and families by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.