Binghamton Faculty, Staff and Students Work Together to Help Fight Hunger

November 08, 2021

Written by Elaina Bonora, BUDS Editorial Intern
Each semester, Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) partners with Broome County CHOW (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse) and our on-campus Food Pantry to provide a variety of food items to students and Broome County residents facing food insecurity through a week-long food drive called Stop Hunger. 
The week-long initiative ran from October 18 to October 24 and raised enough money to account for a whopping 18,000 meals to be distributed between CHOW and the University Food Pantry. 
The funds allocated to CHOW will aid in the food bank’s mission to end hunger in Broome County by providing free food to over 100 partner agencies throughout the county. CHOW distributes 2.2 million meals annually and offers other programs such as the Summer Food Program, which provides meals to children during the summer who rely on free and reduced lunches during the school year. BUDS has been working with CHOW every semester for several years now and has happily been supporting them through the semiannual Stop Hunger Food Drive.
When it comes to the University Food Pantry, the funds raised will assist in the replenishment of food supplies available for students on campus. The Binghamton University Food Pantry was established in 1996 and has been assisting students by supplying both physical items as well as external resources to provide support and care in every way possible. The pantry consists of both perishable and non-perishable food items, as well as personal care and small household items.
When asked about her thoughts on the Stop Hunger campaign, Binghamton University senior, Hannah Fishbein, stated, “I think it’s amazing that the University participates in an initiative that helps not only our campus community, but also the greater Broome County community.” Another Binghamton University senior added, “I also really like how easy it was to donate; I was asked at the register while buying lunch if I wanted to donate $1 and it was just that simple.”
When it comes to the donations for Stop Hunger, it is not just students who participate; this semester, one BUDS cashier, Manisha Patel, went above and beyond and was able to raise over $1,000 in donations within her family alone - accounting for almost 3,300 meals!
Manisha has worked for BUDS for 7 years; this semester, she can be found behind the counter at Royal Indian at The MarketPlace. When asked about what motivated her to raise money for Stop Hunger, Manisha said, “I am happy. My family and friends are healthy, I have a roof over my head, and a job that I love, but a lot of people don’t have that. If I'm able to help people that do not have that, I always will.”
Manisha also mentioned that Diwali, a traditional Indian holiday, is coming up and because of the pandemic, her family and friends have not been able to celebrate in the same manner that they usually do. So, as a result, those in her community have been raising funds for the Stop Hunger initiative.
Manisha concluded by saying that life is short and she “wants to help as many people as [she] can while [she has] the opportunity to do so.” We can all learn from Manisha’s example to appreciate what we have and help those who may not be as fortunate. 
It is because of kindhearted people like Manisha and our students, faculty, and staff that we have been able to successfully help diminish food insecurity throughout not only our university, but Broome County as a whole by participating in the Stop Hunger drive.