SUNY Chancellor King Marks Hunger Action Month and Launches $1 Million in SUNY Campus Programs to Combat Food Insecurity

September 6, 2023

NYS Investments Will Reach 28 State-Operated Campuses Enrolling More Than 200,000 Students in Total

Fact Sheet Outlining Campus Program Expansions Available Here

Brockport, NY
– In recognition of September as Hunger Action Month, State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. today announced $1 million of dedicated ongoing state-supported operating funding to provide sustainable financial assistance for SUNY campus food pantries. The funding is part of New York State’s historic investment in higher education approved by Governor Hochul and state legislators in the 2023/24 Enacted State Budget. In Chancellor King’s State of the University Address, he outlined his vision to combat food insecurity by investing in food, supplies, and staff time to help ensure the food pantries remain stocked, open, and accessible to students in need.

SUNY Chancellor King’s announcement was made from SUNY Brockport, where he visited the campus’s new, on-campus pantry ahead of its official opening later this month. The Pantry at SUNY Brockport will offer food (shelf-stable, refrigerated, and frozen items), menstrual products, diapers, baby food, paper products, referral for clothing, and more for students. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. during the semester. SUNY Brockport is opening The Pantry in partnership with the Brockport Student Government and Foodlink of Monroe County. It will serve both the SUNY Brockport and Village of Brockport communities.

Other SUNY state-operated campuses are utilizing their portion of the $1-million state investment to expand. At minimum:

  • 22 campuses will directly buy food and supplies for their food pantry, including food and other necessities such as toiletries, baby items, and laundry detergent. Investments in needs such as refrigerators will allow campuses to offer fresh food and produce.
  • 18 campuses will hire staff for food insecurity, which includes staff for food pantries, basic-need coordinators, and SNAP outreach and education personnel. In addition, the staffing support will allow several campuses to offer expanded hours.
  • 6 campuses will expand or improve their food pantry’s physical space.
  • 5 campuses will invest in software programs to track inventory and improve food-pantry operations.
  • 4 campuses will launch innovative ways for students to access the dining halls such as through meal swipe programs, cafeteria meal vouchers, or dining hall access over breaks.

NYS investments will reach 28 campuses enrolling more than 200,000 students in total. A fact sheet outlining campus program expansions is available here.

In addition to food pantries on campus, federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provide eligible students funding for groceries. SUNY is committed to outreach and support to improve SNAP participation, and this summer, the SUNY Student Information and Campus Administrative Systems (SICAS) center built an online enrollment verification form that will be available in Banner 9 Self-Service for students. This will make it easier for eligible students on SUNY campuses to apply for SNAP benefits. More information on SNAP and college students is available at and from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

"Food insecurity was a consistent issue brought up by students during my 64-campus tour. A hungry student is unable to dedicate their time fully to their studies because of the constant stress and anxiety of when their next meal will be or where it will come from," said SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. "Supporting students facing food insecurity is a priority for increasing student success and upward mobility across the system, and we are grateful for how our campuses are partnering and investing to make sure that no student is forced to choose between pursuing their education or experiencing hunger. As we acknowledge Hunger Action Month, we thank SUNY Brockport for their partnership with student government leaders and Foodlink to offer The Pantry."

SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson said, "Students should be focused on their futures. They should be focused on their academic success. They should not have to worry about where they’re getting their next meal or how they’re going to afford toiletries, menstrual products, or so many other basic needs. I’m so pleased that The Pantry at SUNY Brockport will help alleviate some of those concerns for our students and others in our community. I am incredibly grateful to Chancellor King for his support in making The Pantry a reality as well as our partners in the Brockport Student Government and Foodlink for their contributions."

Jaime Hansen, Executive Director of Swipe Out Hunger said, "Before the pandemic, over 54% of SUNY community college students and 40% of students from state-operated campuses experienced hunger. SUNY has taken a significant first step in addressing the crisis of food insecurity across New York campuses with its $1-million investment. Swipe Out Hunger is excited to see how these funds, along with future dedicated funding, will expand basic-need services across all 64 campuses, uplifting the next wave of college graduates."

Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York said, "SUNY continues to be at the forefront in the battle against hunger in New York. We’re grateful for Chancellor King’s leadership and commitment to finding new solutions that will connect more SUNY students across the state with meals. No Kid Hungry is proud to partner with SUNY to address campus food insecurity, and I am thrilled to see that anti-hunger initiatives have become part of the fabric of the state university system so that every student can focus on their academic goals rather than where their next meal is going to come from."

New York State Senator Rachel May, Chair of the Committee on Cities 2 and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources said, "Students can’t concentrate and learn on an empty stomach, making school nutrition essential to success in and out of the classroom. That’s true in college as well as in K-12 schools. I worked hard alongside my colleagues in the Senate Majority this year to increase food security across the board, including by providing additional funding for SUNY nutritional services. SUNY Chancellor King has been a fantastic partner in this effort, and it’s exciting to see this funding go to projects that will support students at my alma mater, SUNY ESF, and across the system. These types of projects will surely make a significant difference in ensuring we have truly hunger-free campuses."

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing said, "Students cannot learn and reach their full potential when attending class on an empty stomach. As the sponsor of the Hunger Free Campus Act, legislation to help more college campuses open food pantries and implement hunger prevention strategies, I am proud that SUNY and Chancellor King have proven themselves leaders in helping food insecure students. No student should have to choose between paying for books or buying groceries, and I look forward to partnering with SUNY to help ensure that college students do not go hungry."

Sean Miller, Northeast Regional Director for Young Invincibles said: "This $1 million allocation to address food security on campus is a critical step in ensuring students of all backgrounds can thrive and focus on their studies, rather than where their next meal will come from. Students cannot succeed if their basic needs are not met, yet thousands of working-class college students throughout New York State grapple with food insecurity on campus, and lack access to needed resources, such as robust food pantries and help enrolling in SNAP benefits.

Young Invincibles applauds Chancellor King and SUNY leadership for prioritizing the essential needs of students."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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