Queens County Farm collecting donations for annual CUNY food drive

Last year the farm’s food drive for CUNY students netted over 500 pounds of food.
Photo courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum

The Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park is facilitating a food drive on behalf of a Queens College food pantry as part of their ongoing partnership with CUNY. 

The farm began collecting donations at the beginning of November after their harvest season wrapped up. As work on the farm which grows over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers slows down, they’re turning to the wider Queens community to ease food insecurity this holiday season. 

Last year, they collected and distributed nearly 500 pounds of non-perishable food to the Knights Table Food Pantry. For their fifth year working with CUNY, they’re expanding their request to include toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products after students expressed a need for essential products. 

The donations will be delivered in stages to the Knights Table Food Pantry at Queens College until the end of December. Photo courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum

“It showed how folks really care about their neighbors and the community,” said Jennifer Walden Weprin, executive director of Queens County Farm Museum, about the success of last year’s food drive.

Queens Farm hopes that food donations will reflect the diversity of the borough. But they’re asking that all contributions be healthy, shelf-stable and fresh. Some suggestions include oatmeal, beans, soup and whole grain products. The farm will be delivering the products to the food pantry in stages as donations come in. 

“At a time of the year when food insecurity is felt even more keenly, the generosity of the Queens County Farm Museum’s patrons is especially appreciated,” said Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “Access to nutritious food is essential to helping our students thrive as they pursue their studies and goals. Many thanks to everyone in the community who is making this possible.”

Non-perishable and healthy food products are requested. Photo courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum

Approximately 40% of CUNY students reported having low or very low food security in the 2022 Student Experience Survey. Other studies have found that food insecure students have lower GPAs than their peers who have adequate food resources. 

The Knights Table Food Pantry, under the Office of Student Development and Leadership at Queens College, was started in the fall of 2018 to provide free food and other essentials to students for free. On top of non-perishable canned and boxed food, they also distribute feminine hygiene products and toiletries. 

The pantry, which is open Monday through Saturday during the academic year, also released a cookbook with recipes that can be made from pantry items. 

“CUNY really does represent the future of our great city. They educate students across all spectrums of education, whether you’re a younger learner or more career established learner, and that’s an important component to growing our city,” said Weprin. “We want to make sure that people who might be food insecure have access.”

Donations can be dropped off at the Farm Store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Dec. 31, 2023.