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Opening the cupboard on food insecurity

A team of technological education students creates a space at Duncan McArthur Hall to share and pick up non-perishable food items.

[A team of technological education students create a space at Duncan McArthur Hall to share and pick up non-perishable food items.]
Technological education students, Daniel Troisi, Dante Reitano, Jordan Messier, and Krista McClean designed and built the Queen's Foodshare Cupboard so that  where Queen’s and Kingston community members can either pick up non-perishable food items when needed, or make a donation. (University Communications)  

A team of teacher candidates is helping reduce food insecurity in the community by creating the Queen’s Community Cupboard, which was unveiled recently at Duncan McArthur Hall.

Technological education students, Daniel Troisi, Dante Reitano, Jordan Messier, and Krista McClean designed and built the wood and glass cupboard where Queen’s and Kingston community members can either pick up non-perishable food items when needed, or make a donation.

Located on the south side of Student Street, next to the doors to Jean Royce Hall, the cupboard is accessible to all users of Duncan MacArthur Hall, including students from the Faculty of Education, the School of English, as well as any other visitors to the building.

 “What inspired this project is that, at its core, food insecurity isn’t always visible even for us who are attending post-secondary education and having the cupboard so close to the residence is also important,” says Mr. Troisi, the team lead. “The focus was to provide a space where items can be donated on a perpetual basis rather that once or twice a year.  Now this is something that is always on our minds and is always accessible.”

[Queen's Foodshare Cupboard is unveiled at Duncan McArthur Hall]
Team lead Daniel Troisi open the section of the Quen's Foodshare Cupboard reserved for school supplies to help out projects by teacher candidates. (University Communications)

The cupboard also has a section for school supplies to help out projects by teacher candidates.

Part of the technological education program curriculum, community-based projects are organized by teacher candidates to meet community needs.

“Technological Education is about designing and making products that meet the needs of a client. This community-based project is a way to bring that process to improvements in our community,” says Peter Chin, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and Coordinator of Technological Education. “Caring for others is also very consistent with what teaching and education is all about, so the two go hand in hand. I’m just happy that someone took up the idea and made it happen.”

Other community-based projects this year included a local lending library for West Park in Kingston and a Providence Care Pampering Day, where the students offered mini-manicures and hand massages to the residents of Providence Manor.

The project received funding from the Queen’s Experiential Learning Projects Fund and is supported by the Faculty of Education. 

Donations can be made at any time, by anyone. A list of recommended items  is available online.