English faculty deliver 470 pounds of food to food pantry

Every great story begins with an exposition, usually has a problem in the middle and ends with a resolution, a detail not lost on faculty in FIU’s Department of English. Perhaps that’s why they were able to quickly craft a solution — with little drama but lots of heroes — when supplies started running low at the FIU food pantry.

Amid the global pandemic, English Chair Ana Luszczynska received news of the need for supplies for the FIU Student Food Pantry. The idea of students needing food was incredibly troubling to her.  

“I felt it was our responsibility to take care of that,” she said.

English faculty delivering boxes of food

Administrative staff in the department created a sheet with the faculty’s addresses. Luszczynska sent an email to faculty alerting them of the project. With point people in play, including Jason Pearl and Luke Thominet, Luszczynska divided the sheet of addresses up by area and assigned each person a pickup zone.

Donations started racking up, some in the form of food and some in money. Jacqueline Amorim did a little of both. Actually, she did a lot of both. The English instructor said she didn’t always know when or what she was going to eat growing up and felt compelled to help students as much as she could. Reaching out to family and neighbors, she collected donations around her neighborhood with social distancing tactics in play.

“We collected some donations from porches and others left bags on our doorstep,” Amorim said.

In total, she collected $140 and filled six boxes with food — enough to fill the trunk of her car.

Boxes of food collected by faculty

Across the department, 14 faculty members donated non-perishable food items, and 33 gave monetary donations.

Three trips and two full loading carts later, the department delivered more than 470 pounds of food to the FIU Student Food Pantry. Venmo transfers, bank visits and snail mail resulted in more than $1,300 donated to Ignite – specifically designated for the food pantry.

Heartened. That is the word Luszczynska uses when describing the response she received.

After meeting Patricia – a student working at the food pantry – and the feeling of community, the department hopes to give back again.

This act of kindness resulted in a 100 percent effort from the department for the 2020 Ignite Campaign.