The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Landis Center raises funds, awareness for food pantries in Easton

Landis+members%2C+pictured+with+Jeanine+Stanilious+and+Ross+Marcus%2C+raised+over+%242%2C500+for+local+food+pantries.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Jenna+Herzog+24%29
Landis members, pictured with Jeanine Stanilious and Ross Marcus, raised over $2,500 for local food pantries. (Photo courtesy of Jenna Herzog ’24)

For the first half of November, the Landis Center has hosted education, tabling and donation events to fundraise for Easton food pantries. The money that is raised will be split between the Easton Area Neighborhood Center food pantry and the newly created Paxinosa Elementary School food pantry.

“Our neighborhood center has been running for a really long time and Paxinosa’s is just starting up, so they both really need our help right now,” Jenna Herzog ‘24, director of Landis’ Food and Housing Insecurity team, said. “The demand is just so increased and cannot be met by the current funds of the centers.”

The fundraiser began with a discussion around food insecurity in Easton. It was led by Jeanine Stanilious, the school coordinator at Paxinosa, and Ross Marcus, the executive director of the Easton Area Neighborhood Center. 

“Being on top of the hill, I feel like we’re very isolated from everything else that’s happening in Easton,” assistant director of the Food and Housing Insecurity Team, Hayley Katz ‘25 said. “I think this fundraiser has been so successful because people don’t really realize the issue until you hear from people in the community who are helping to solve this problem.”

“I’m really glad that after the education event, people weren’t like, ‘Oh, now I can donate,'” Lauren Daniels ’25 said. “It was like, ‘Okay, I just donated. But what else can I do?’ Nobody wanted to stop there,” she said. 

The idea for the fundraiser began when Camille Carthy ‘23, who has volunteered at the Easton Area Neighborhood Center for all of her four years at Lafayette, and Daniels, who recently began working with Stanilious on the creation of the Paxinosa food pantry, were approached by the Food and Housing Insecurity team about collaboration.

“We wanted to do something that would actually help the local food pantries because we do a lot with them,” Katz said. “And we’ve seen firsthand how much help they do need, especially to get enough nutritious food so that people are able to get foods that will fuel and help them.”

The organizers all agreed that the fundraiser should serve as a starting point for students to get more involved in the Easton community instead of just a one-time event.

“The funds are the main thing, but I think we can all agree that we don’t want it to just be a one-time donation,” Herzog said. “We want to be in a long-term relationship with these community partners.”

Carthy said that the food pantries have seen unprecedented levels of need recently, due to a combination of increased housing prices, inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last fiscal year the neighborhood center served close to 1,500 families,” Carthy said. “And then in this fiscal year alone, from just July to now, they’ve served close to 1,200.”

Herzog emphasized that many of the difficulties Easton residents face are due to Easton being a “food desert,” or an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. 

“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a food desert Easton is and that there are no grocery stores within miles of the West Ward or Center Easton,” Herzog said. “And so you need a car to get anywhere which poses a huge problem.”

The fundraiser has already raised over $2,500, with the goal amount being increased twice. 

“It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my college career to feel like I’m part of the lifeblood in Easton beyond this kind of like college on the Hill,” Carthy said.

Those who want to donate can do so at: givebutter.com/EastonPAFoodPantry

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Emma Chen, Managing Editor
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