Welcome to the Community Cares page!
Updated (1/23/2023): The BU Food Pantry is now open for pick-up orders. Please visit the Shopping Form to place an order.
What is Community Cares?
The Community Cares Food Pantry was established by the Student Services team at BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development in 2019 under the leadership of Stephanie Clendenin with grants from The Wellbeing Project, an initiative of the Provost’s Office and the BU Wheelock Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Community Cares endeavored to end food insecurity for BU Wheelock students, but its doors were open to the entire BU community. Community Cares also helped students in need of essentials like toiletries and menstrual hygiene products. Until Fall 2022, it was run solely by the student services staff and student employees of BU Wheelock.
In Spring 2022, to ensure access for all students, the newly formed office of Student Wellbeing initiated a movement toward a streamlined, “centralized” approach to addressing food insecurity on campus. In addition to supporting the seven dimensions of wellbeing, Student Wellbeing is committed to supporting students’ core needs, such as food, shelter, and safety. Working with existing food pantries on campus, including Community Cares, the Food@BU team, and current students, Student Wellbeing has been focused on educating students about resources available to them, as well as providing a streamlined process for obtaining the food they need.
In Fall 2022, Dr. Carrie Landa, executive director, Student Wellbeing, and Dr. Ellen E. Faszewski, associate dean for student affairs at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, partnered to submit a proposal for funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to address food insecurity at BU. In January 2023, with lots of enthusiasm, we received word that Student Wellbeing would receive $75K to address food insecurity at BU and educate our students about how they can make nutritious and budget-friendly choices.
In 2023, Student Wellbeing officially launched the BU Food Pantry. Students and professional staff operate this single, comprehensive food pantry by stocking food, processing request forms and, fulfilling food orders for our students.
Why Community Cares and BU Food Pantry?
Some people may wonder why a large, top-ranked, research 1 institution needs to have this kind of initiative on its campus. The simple truth is that food insecurity impacts millions of people across the United States, and today’s college students are no exception. Just look at the data from the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), which culled research from 2018 GAO Report and the 2018 Hunger on Campus Report.
Some put these stats as being lower than what is happening in reality. This means that food insecurity is happening all around us, to our friends, peers, and roommates. It’s happening to people who are working hard and who did their part to apply for financial aid or pay for a campus meal plan to meet minimum requirements set by the university but can’t afford one that gives them enough food each week. If you are facing food insecurity, we are here to help.