Old Food Pantry gets torn down to make place for new, upgraded one

Courtesy photo of City College Facilities employee Dan Gaffney.

Gia Opsahl, Staff Writer

After feeding thousands of City College students for the past three years, the Food Pantry will leave its old hut behind and move into a more upgraded structure.

Early Friday morning, a nearly 20 thousand pound excavator was ready to tear down the old pantry to make space for the new one.

The new structure will now have more storage, electricity, new refrigerators, freezers and will combine with Tiffany’s Closet, a pantry of donated clothing. 

Adolfo Corral, the coordinator of equity, diversity, and cultural competency, said Tiffany’s closet thought of this idea in April 2019. 

“Teachers, staff, and instructors kept bringing in donations that students could pick up so it ultimately kept building and building,” said Corral. “Students can now pick up food and browse around for clothing.”

Raymond Carroll, a former staff member at the pantry, described how urgent an upgrade was for not only the students but the team as well. 

“We really needed more refrigerators and freezers for the amount of food we stored,” he said. “The more people that started coming, there wasn’t enough space for all of the food we were handing out.” 

The new fridges will have clear glass doors so students can see what is available, which makes it easier for the employees. 

Edwin Maldonado, a new employee for the pantry, also lamented about the old, compacted structure. 

“Before, some of our food would rot due to not having enough storage… We were forced to throw it away,” he said.

Now, there will be enough room for more meat, produce and other food items that students need. 

“The process was difficult… We weren’t sure how we were going to fit Tiffany’s Closet and the pantry together, but we needed a new facility,” Maldonado added. “We’ve been here for three years, so it’s very compacted.” 

Another issue with the old pantry was the lack of an air conditioning or heating system.

“When it got really hot in there, there was no system or installation to keep us cool, and when we’d stay open till 8 p.m. at night, you can imagine how cold it would be in there,” Carroll said. 

Both pantries now live next to each other to make it more accessible for students and to continue providing food and clothing for students throughout this week, only in smaller quantities due to construction. 

It is located in front of Tiffany’s Closet in East Campus Classrooms Room 6 and will remain there until the opening of the new structure. 

The date of the opening is to be announced.