December 10, 2020

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘A Call to Action on Food Equity for Students on the Ithaca Campus’

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To the Editor: 

I read with interest Sarah Brice’s Dec. 9 opinion piece entitled “A Call to Action on Food Equity for Students on the Ithaca Campus.”  I am appalled that my alma mater appears unwilling or unable to conquer food insecurity among its students. Pre-pandemic, I became involved in this issue — or should I say, I tried to become involved. After reading articles in The Sun and in Cornell Alumni Magazine about food insecurity on campus, I contacted a Cornell Associate Dean. I suggested that many alumni would be more than willing to assist financially if the problem were brought directly to their attention. I proposed that to make it very easy for alumni to donate, a line item could be included on annual donor solicitation material that is mailed and emailed to alumni. I further proposed that a program be initiated whereby alumni could donate swipes through Swipe Out Hunger. I was rebuffed and referred — you guessed it — to the Food Pantry.  While I am sure that the Food Pantry provides a useful and valuable lifeline to Cornell students, I agree with Ms. Brice that more should be done to stamp out food insecurity.  It is time for Cornell to take responsibility. Get the alumni on board; we will rise to the challenge, as we always have.

Dolores Gebhardt, ILR ’81