Four people hold yellow ribbon, one cuts ribbon with large pair of scissors
Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins (center right) and Class of 1958 alumna Florine “Peaches” Camphor (center left) cut the ribbon on the new Coppin Corner food resource center. Screenshot from University's Facebook video.

Coppin State University this week officially opened Coppin Corner, a new on-campus resource to help students facing food insecurity.

The timing of the ribbon cutting Wednesday was intended to coincide with students getting ready to leave for summer break and preparing for the start of summer classes, so that they could stock up on food and supplies. Coppin Corner, however, will operate year-round, according to a news release from the university.

The on-campus facility carries non-perishable food items, frozen foods, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies.

In a Facebook video introducing the space, Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins explained how many community members are touched by food insecurity.

“Our Coppin Corner is designed to meet their food insecurity needs, and I could not be more proud of our advisory council, and our division of student affairs, and enrollment management, and all of our loved ones and friends who helped us put this together,” Jenkins said.

Over the past academic year, Coppin Corner held six “grab and go” food giveaways, each serving more than 150 students. This summer, the resource will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Coppin State is an anchor institution serving students from communities spanning from Baltimore to Australia. We educate students who are often supporting themselves, as well as their loved ones,” Jenkins said. “Our faculty and staff work to equip our students not only with the education they need to achieve upward economic mobility, but also nutritious foods to build better, healthier lives. Coppin Corner will not solve every problem our students face; however, we are hopeful it will allow them to focus more on their studies, and less on where their next meal is coming from.

Although Maryland is ranked the wealthiest state in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, one in three Marylanders faces “very low food security,” the Maryland Food Bank says. They attribute this to “a cost of living higher than the national average, and wage growth stagnant while health care, child care, housing and other costs balloon.”

“[F]ar too many Marylanders are forced to face tough choices on a regular basis: Rent or grocery shopping? Medicine or meals? Heat or eat? The result is food insecurity,” the Maryland Food Bank writes on their website.

The food bank partners with businesses, organizations, and schools for students of all ages to combat hunger and remove food insecurity as an obstacle to learning.

According to Coppin State University’s website, “Coppin Corner is dedicated to the late James “Winky” Camphor (‘51) and his wife Florine “Peaches” Camphor (’58), who have supported six endowed scholarships at Coppin, and championed assistance for students experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.” Mrs. Camphor also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.

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