SALEM, MA – Salem State University will join Citizens Inn and The Salem Pantry, with funding from the Brace Cove Foundation, on a new initiative to address food insecurity in Salem and at Salem State University. The Fresh Harvest Pop Up Stand, a cost-free mobile food pantry, will bring part of the pantry offerings directly to Salem at two locations in early March.
Citizens Inn, which houses the Haven from Hunger food pantry and community-meals program, has reported that Salem residents, many of whom are Salem State students, are the largest population served by the organization, despite the organization’s location in Peabody.
Beginning on Wednesday, March 6, and returning on the first and third Wednesdays of every month, the Fresh Harvest Pop Up Stand will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Salem State’s campus at 68 Loring Avenue near Central Campus.
The stand will be located at Espacio, the North Shore Community Development Coalition’s Community room at 105 Congress Street in the Point neighborhood on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month beginning on March 16.
“Sadly, college students are not immune from this phenomenon. It becomes increasingly difficult to focus on your academics when you’re not sufficiently nourished. We are proud to partner with the Salem Pantry and Citizens Inn to provide an array of healthy options for our students,” said Nate Bryant, Salem State University Chief of Staff to the President.
The Fresh Harvest Pop Up Stand will operate much like a traditional food pantry with food being provided to Salem residents and Salem State students at no cost. A truck will deliver food to each location, with food being displayed and dispersed by volunteers outside of the truck (or inside during inclement weather) for the duration of the pantry. The intent of this program is to offer food to those in need at more convenient locations. The majority of the Fresh Harvest Pop Up Stand’s offerings will be fresh produce, with a selection of shelf-stable foods.
“Since learning that 47% of our 1.5 million pounds of food annually is going to Salem residents, our priority has been to launch a mobile market to serve individuals more efficiently and get to new individuals in those neighborhoods,” said Citizens Inn Executive Director Corey Jackson. “We’re also very excited to bring nutritious, fresh food to the students, faculty, and staff at Salem State University.”
“The Salem Pantry is thrilled to be partnering with Citizens Inn on these two mobile pantries. Hunger is a growing problem for college students, and this collaboration will allow us to distribute more food to those in need in the Salem community,” said Kerry Murphy of the Salem Pantry.
The mobile pantries fill the need for affordable, low-priced fresh produce closer to residents’ homes, a key finding of the Salem Community Food Assessment report conducted by the City of Salem and Mass in Motion in 2018.
No pre-registration is necessary to participate in the mobile pantries, but a proof of residency (photo ID and a piece of mail that has been delivered to the home address and dated within the last 30 days) or a SSU student ID will be required.
The Salem Pantry has operated a monthly food pantry for Salem residents at 211 Bridge Street since 1991. Citizens Inn Haven from Hunger, located at 71 Wallis Street in Peabody, operates a pantry for residents of Peabody, Salem and Lynnfield from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., as well as a community meal from 5 to 6 p.m. every weekday except Wednesdays.