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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food security is defined as “physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”  Food insecurity is "the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited, or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways."

Food insecurity is categorized into four levels: High Food Security, Marginal Food Security, Low Food Security, and Very Low Food Security.

High Food Security: No problems or limitations related to food access or availability.

Marginal Food Security: Concern that food will run out before being able to afford more.

Low Food Security: Reduced quality, variety, or desirability of food intake.  A household at this level is also classified as “food insecure.”

Very Low Food Security: Disrupted eating patterns resulting in reduced food intake.  A household at this level is also classified as “food insecure."

What does Food Insecurity Look Like?
Food insecurity can be experienced in a number of different ways, for example: 

  • Increased anxiety and stress about the cost of food.
  • Eating a limited variety of foods. Consistently eating the same, few, low-cost foods and feeling like you need to compromise the types of food you eat to save money. 
  • Increased concern that your food supply may run out or run low before you have enough money to buy more.
  • Eating less than you would like to or less frequently than you prefer to save food or money until you can get more.
  • Skipping meals or whole days of eating because you have run out of food and do not have the money or resources to get more.
  • Having to choose between buying food and buying books and other supplies for your college courses.
  • Sometimes being comfortable having enough to eat and other times needing to ration food or skip meals to get by.

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Pioneer Pantry

Welcome to the Pioneer Pantry

Pantry web 1

Hours and Location

New Location: Speert Hall, Room 135 (Outside entrance, across from the Office of Veteran & Military Affairs).  Conveniently located near Lot 5 Bus Stop. 


Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday 2pm-5pm
Thursday CLOSED

For emergency access during off-hours (M- F), contact Campus Activities at 973-720-2518 or in University Commons 116 (behind the Info Desk).

Note: Pioneer Pantry is closed on weekends and when the University is closed (i.e. holidays, inclement weather)

Pioneer Pantry Contacts

  • Leslie Fischgrund, Campus Activities, Service and Leadership, (973) 720-2518,
  • Pantry Phone: (973) 720-2023

About the Pioneer Pantry

Located at Speert Hall / Student Center, the Pioneer Pantry is a free resource for all currently enrolled William Paterson students who are experiencing food insecurity. The Pantry is funded by the generous donations from the WP community.  As a food pantry, it provides items such as canned goods, pasta, rice, and many other shelf-stable and limited fresh foods. Hygiene products, household necessities, and cleaning supplies may also available.  

Founded in 2017, the Pantry is a collaboration between the Student Government Association (SGA), Office of Campus Activities, Service, and Leadership (CASL), and the division of Student Development.

Using the Pioneer Pantry

The Pioneer Pantry is a resource for students who are experiencing food insecurity. The pantry is available on a walk-in only basis, meaning students must come in-person to choose and receive items. Upon each visit, students will be asked to fill out either an online or paper sign-in form. Students may only visit the pantry once per week, and may select a limited amount of items based on their immediate need.  

The pantry’s hours of operation are Monday - Friday (listed above). Hours may change during break periods.  Accommodations may be made for students who are unable to visit the pantry during its regular operating hours. Please email for more information.

The Pioneer Pantry is open during student breaks when the University is open, including the summer, unless otherwise specified.

Supporting the Pioneer Pantry

The Pioneer Pantry is always looking for new volunteers to work in the Pantry!  Students can earn "credit" towards their WP LEADS Civic Engagement Badge.  For more information, please email Leslie Fischgrund at

The Pioneer Pantry also accepts donations of non-perishable food items, personal hygiene, cleaning and paper products, and reusable shopping bags. Organizations wanting to host a donation drive are encouraged to reach out to Leslie Fischgrund for a list of needed items. Monetary donations can made through the Office of Institutional Advancement

Additionally, you can support the Pantry via our Amazon Wishlist and have items delivered directly to the Pantry.