On Saturday, April 5, the Asian Studies Program had its first, successful food pantry at the Longwood Apartments (Section 8 HUD housing and Senior Center) in Columbia, Maryland, where organizers provided the residents, mainly Korean and Chinese, with food to supplement their food stamp allowances. Six Asian Studies student volunteers helped the pantry to run smoothly and communicated with the residents in Korean and Chinese.
The food pantry program has been greatly assisted with a start-up grant from BreakingGround. It has involved Boy Scout groups and faith-based groups as well as the UMBC community in the effort. Asian Studies Program Management Specialist Julie Rosenthal runs the Howard County non-profit Food on the 15th, which partnered with the Asian Studies Program to develop a free food pantry for the residents of Longwood Apartments. Organizers hope to hold the pantry monthly.