D’Youville Partners with African Heritage Co-Op to Address Food Insecurity

D’Youville has added a new program to help address food insecurity and provide healthy options for their students, in partnership with the African Heritage Co-Op.

The “Fresh Packs” program offers fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy options at no charge for those in need. Students can place orders by noon each Wednesday and pick up their Fresh Packs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays at The Park, D’Youville’s student advocacy center.  

NiK Peavy, director of student development and advocacy, coordinates the Fresh Packs program. “With the Fresh Packs, students are able to easily access food that is fresh, healthy, and nutritious,” Peavy says. “In addition, D’Youville can inject funds into the West Side and support a Black-owned business by partnering with the African Heritage Co-Op.”

Alexander J. Wright, JD, who has run the African Heritage Food Co-Op for five years, says the Co-Op is “ecstatic” to be part of this new program. “We hope that many students take advantage of this opportunity,” Wright says. “It’s important for everyone to have access to affordable, healthy food. This includes those pursuing higher education who often have limited resources.” The Co-Op supplies the produce as well as staff to help hand out the Fresh Packs.

Food insecurity among college students is a rising problem in the U.S. A 2019 survey found that nearly 40 percent of college students reported being food-insecure at some point during the school year.

“For several years, D’Youville has run its own Campus Cupboard, which offers nonperishable food and personal items to students in need,” Peavy says. “With the Fresh Packs program, we can now offer fresh options, which are often difficult to find outside of a trip to the grocery store.”

To learn more about the Fresh Packs program, contact Peavy at 716-829-7812 or peavyn@dyc.edu.