Two anonymous University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law alumni have pledged to fund the law school’s Virtual Food Pantry, which helps students experiencing food insecurity by providing gift cards for grocery stores.
“The McGeorge School of Law community has time and time again proven that it is resilient, caring, supportive, and thoughtful,” said Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz. “Our alumni network is deeply invested in the success of our students and their wellbeing. On behalf of our students, we thank the donors, whose names we have withheld upon their request.”
In December 2022, the law school received a $10,000 gift for the Virtual Food Pantry from the donors, who pledged future gifts that will sustain the law school’s innovative Virtual Food Pantry.
Traditional food pantries in law schools and universities are rooms in which a variety of groceries, most often canned and dry goods, are stored on shelves. Students visit the room and leave with bags of groceries. The downside is that the students’ peers and other community members can see, visually, that the students are experiencing food insecurity. McGeorge’s Virtual Food Pantry is housed in the law school’s Student Services offices, under the supervision of Assistant Dean Leah Adams, ’07. Students are able to leave discreetly with a pre-loaded grocery card they can use to purchase fresh food and other groceries.
“Nearly half of our students are first-generation college students – and even more are first-generation law school students – and are working to put themselves through school,” Schwartz said. “Being a law student is hard enough, but things become almost impossible when basic needs like hunger are not met.”
The Virtual Food Pantry Fund was established in 2019 at McGeorge School of Law by the law school administration with support from the Office of Advancement. To date, 372 gift cards – totaling $37,200 – have been distributed to McGeorge students.
Students can indicate their need for a Virtual Food Pantry gift card by making an appointment with Dean Adams or by filling out an online application.
“I meet with students facing food insecurity on a regular basis, and I am so thankful the law school has a resource available to support these students in need,” Adams said. “Thanks to the Virtual Food Pantry, students can focus on their academic and professional goals instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from.”
In 2021, 43% of law students reported being concerned about having enough food due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report “The COVID Crisis in Legal Education” by the Law School Survey of Student Engagement.
“I would just like to say thank you to the McGeorge Administration for providing these types of services that help relieve non-academic stress and anxieties,” a food pantry recipient said.
Third-year law student and Student Bar Association President Krishma Malhotra has observed that the success of law students is based on the fulfillment of their basic needs.
“McGeorge’s Virtual Food Pantry allows students the flexibility and choice when purchasing food and allows them to do it in a way that is accessible and convenient to them,” Malhotra said. “We are thrilled and thankful to see additional donations to our Virtual Food Pantry.”
If you would like to support the Virtual Food Pantry, you can do so by making a gift at alumni.mcgeorge.edu/makeagift or on the law school’s crowdfunding site. McGeorge School of Law is incredibly grateful for donations of any size.
For more information about McGeorge School of Law, visit our website.