Dare to Care partnership expands food options at campus food pantry


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Cardinal Cupboard, a campus food pantry for UofL students, just got better thanks to a new partnership with Dare to Care, Louisville’s largest food bank.

    The partnership will ensure that the pantry, which students started in January to address food insecurity, will have a wider array of healthful items from which to choose.

    Dare to Care will help stock the pantry with frozen proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, along with some non-perishable items. It also provides food safety training.

    The partnership will round out the Cardinal Cupboard’s offerings of donated non-perishables and personal hygiene items, along with foods from the Food Recovery Network chapter at UofL, which collects leftovers on campus, such as bagels from Einstein Bagels.

    “The real beauty of the partnership is access to proteins and veggies,” said Kathy Meyer, Coordinator for Student Leadership and Service. “It’s made such a difference in what we’re able to offer here.”

    The food pantry also recently moved to a roomier and more centralized location in the Student Activities Center and now boasts a refrigerator. About 50 student volunteers staff the space, which is open daily for anyone in the UofL community to take whatever they need.

    The partnership was forged when UofL President Neeli Bendapudi connected with Dare to Care leadership at a community function. Dare to Care partners with nearly 300 local social service agencies, such as food pantries, shelters and emergency kitchens to distribute food in the region.

    “Our community founded Dare to Care 50 years ago, and our community’s continuing passion to ensure everyone has the food they need to be healthy still fuels our ongoing innovations and new partnerships. In this spirit, we are thrilled and honored to partner with the University of Louisville on this new endeavor that will improve the health and the future of so many who are struggling to have a bright future,” said Brian Riendeau, Dare to Care Executive Director.

    Also beginning this semester, Aramark, which provides on-campus dining options, is donating 200 meal swipes (vouchers) to students in need.

    Food insecurity has emerged as a pressing issue on college campuses across the nation. The federal government made recommendations for addressing the issue in a 62-page study published last year.



    Editors: A photo of Bryant Grant, a student volunteer in the Cardinal Cupboard, is attached.




    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.