Temple University will close for winter break from Dec. 22 to Dec. 31. Temple’s Cherry Pantry, a food pantry for students, will close from Dec. 21 and reopen on Jan. 4.
Due to labor shortages and supply chain disruptions happening across the country, the cost of grocery store items has increased 5.3 percent since Fall 2020, according to The U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In 2020, 16.3 percent of residents experienced food insecurity, according to the City of Philadelphia.
The Temple News has compiled a list of places and resources students can visit or access for food services near Temple’s Main Campus.
TEMPLE CHERRY PANTRY
The Cherry Pantry is located in room 224A in the Howard Gittis Student Center and operates from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. They are open on Dec. 7, 8 and 9 and Dec. 14, 15 and 16, said Ayala Gedeon, the program coordinator for the dean of students, who helps oversee Cherry Pantry.
The point system, which students use to access pantry supplies, will double before break. The 16 points per week each student typically receives will increase to 32 to ensure students can get enough food before break. Each student may visit the Cherry Pantry only once per week, so that there is enough food for all students, Gedeon said.
Items cost between one and three points. One point items include canned goods and snacks; two point items include cereal, canned meats, macaroni and cheese and milk when available; three point items include cereal in bulk, jelly, pasta and sauce, peanut butter and rice, Gedeon said.
The Cherry Pantry will provide students with free hygiene products, like shower gel and deodorant on Dec. 16.
They accept donations of non-perishable food and hygiene products during their hours of operation. They also have an Amazon wishlist which can be found on the Dean of Students website, where they are accepting donations of items on their list.
CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE
The Church of the Advocate is located near Temple’s campus at 1801 W Diamond Street.
Throughout the year, Church of the Advocate provides hot meals from their soup kitchen on Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m., said Serafina Harris, the church’s secretary.
They will continue normal operations at their soup kitchen throughout winter break, but will close on Dec. 25.
Individuals do not need to show identification to be able to visit the soup kitchen and be provided with a meal, Harris said.
Church of the Advocate is accepting monetary donations through its website.
SALVATION ARMY TEMPLE CORPS
The Salvation Army Temple Corps offers a food pantry for individuals who provide photo identification, and allow people to visit as many times a week as they need, said Natasha Rush, a case aide who works in the social services department at Salvation Army Temple Corps.
The Salvation Army, located at 1340 Brown Street, operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. They will be closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.
People can access pre-packaged non-perishable food items, like canned goods, dry goods and occasionally fruits or meats, Rush said.
They will accept drop-off donations of food supplies during their hours of operation. To donate, people can call (215) 717-1169 to alert a staff member on when they will be dropping off donations.
BRIGHT HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH
Bright Hope Baptist Church, located at 1601 N 12th Street, is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., where they serve meals to they serve meals to anyone who needs it, said Reverend Justin Childs. They also host produce giveaways every Friday starting at 10:15 a.m., where they hand out food products until they run out.
Temple students can visit Mondays through Fridays between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to take any food products from their store room for themselves or family members, Childs said.
To receive a meal or food products, individuals do not need to show identification and are allowed to request extra meals or extra produce, he added.
Bright Hope Baptist Church will not be open from Dec. 27 until Dec. 31.
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps low income individuals and families in Pennsylvania buy groceries.
Eligible individuals must earn less than a certain income per year which is determined by SNAP. They can apply for SNAP online through the website, or in-person at their county assistant office.
Those eligible will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer ACCESS Card which can be used to purchase food.
Individuals who have access to SNAP may purchase items like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, bread and cereals.
Local stores that accept SNAP benefits include: 23 Mini Market Inc. located at 2240 W Diamond Street, 20th Street Grocery Store located at 1946 W Diamond Street, the Rite Aid near White Hall located at 2131 North Broad Street as well as the Rite Aid near The Fresh Grocer at 1528 North Broad Street.