UCF student-led assistance program providing food, supplies, business attire for Knights in need

ORLANDO, Fla. — Finding a job can be difficult if a person lacks the right clothes, and organizations in Central Florida are trying to address that problem.

Rubuta Morency is a senior at UCF and Assistant manager of the “Knights Helping Knights” Pantry, an on-campus resource for students needing assistance.

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“The kind of reaction we usually receive is ‘wow, I did not know this exists’ and then ‘wow, I wish I knew this earlier,’” Morency said.

The pantry provides more than 70,000 pounds of food per year, but it also offers school supplies and clothing for students who need them.

“Students can come to the campus, rent out a blazer for five days for anything they need: interviews, class presentations, but we also have regular clothing that’s here, professional clothing also, that’s all free,” Morency said.

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Posted by Knights Pantry at UCF on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The pantry is run mostly by a student management team.

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Jeannie Kiriwas is an Associate Director of that team. She says there are more than 700 pantries on college campuses across America, including six at UCF, making sure students have what they need to succeed beyond graduation, but also just to help them get to that point.

“One of the things I love about having our student management team is they’re constantly evaluating what the word on the street is,” Kiriwas said. “What do students need, and how does it change? We’re constantly adjusting our services to try to accommodate that.”

Many of the students working at Knights Pantry are like Morency, interested in business. They hope to be entrepreneurs, but are also part of a generation that sees it as a path to improve their communities.

“They can’t afford to have nutritious food or something or toiletries all the time when they’re already paying for all this other stuff like housing and tuition,” Morency said.

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Morency says they’re always looking for more donations of either clothes, food, or just money.

She says also in need of professional-style shoes in particular.

For more information on how to contribute to Knights Pantry, click here.

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Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner, WFTV.com

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.