USVI Community Pulse

UVI Unveils Essential Needs Pantry to Address Student Food Insecurity



The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has taken a significant step towards alleviating food and financial hardships among its students by inaugurating the Essential Needs Pantry. Launched last month, this initiative extends critical support to students at both the St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses, as announced by UVI on Tuesday.

The initiative, supported by the Eastern Area Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and managed by UVI’s Division of Student Affairs, aims to provide food assistance, personal care items, and other essential supplies to meet the immediate needs of UVI students, regardless of where they live.

UVI President David Hall expressed the university’s commitment to student welfare. “At UVI, we are dedicated to providing our students with the necessary tools, resources, and support to achieve their academic goals. The Essential Needs Pantry is a testament to our commitment to educate, nurture, and empower our students in every facet of their lives,” Hall stated.

Colvin Georges, the administrator for the pantry on St. Croix, shared his enthusiasm for the project. “This initiative represents our pledge to the well-being and success of our students,” Georges noted.

Leslyn Tonge, who leads the St. Thomas pantry, highlighted the success of the launch events and the anticipation for future events. “The response to our initial events was overwhelmingly positive, and we are eager to continue demonstrating our dedication to our students at the upcoming pantry event. Recognizing that our students require support both inside and outside the classroom, this initiative is a practical way to address some of those needs,” Tonge remarked.

Hall also expressed gratitude to the Eastern Area Chapter of The Links, Incorporated for their pivotal role in launching the pantry. With the initiative already garnering positive responses from students, UVI officials are optimistic about its potential for further growth and expansion.

Hall shared his vision for the future of the pantry, “We hope that this initiative will inspire students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and businesses throughout the Virgin Islands to recognize the importance of this essential service and contribute to its success.”

For those interested in supporting the Essential Needs Pantry, contributions can be directed to Dr. Georges in St. Croix at and Dr. Tonge in St. Thomas at

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