Parkville Missouri

City Partners with Park University to Accept Food Donations for Pirate Pantry

The City of Parkville is pleased to announce its partnership with Park University to accept food donations for Pirate Pantry, the University’s response to the increased awareness of food insecurity, or lack of nutritious food, among college students. Mayor Nan Johnston attended a grand opening ceremony for Pirate Pantry on October 23, 2018.

With the price of college and living expenses, many college students have difficulty choosing between the cost of college and the essentials, such as food. In spring 2018, Park University found that 1 in 5 students reported food insecurity and 65 percent of those students reported skipping meals due to a lack of money. One study of 66 institutions and 43,000 students concluded that 36% of students were food insecure. Another study discovered that 53% reported missing a class due to food insecurity, 55% opted out of joining extracurricular activities and 25% dropped classes due to hunger. Many students said that hunger was a factor in not being able to concentrate, leading some not to complete their degree.

Pirate Pantry Grand Opening October 23, 2018. L-R: Park University President Dr. Greg Gunderson, Mayor Nan Johnston & Pirate Pantry Initiator Laurie Gunderson

Pirate Pantry is open to Park University students and is operated by volunteers, primarily graduate students in the Master of Social Work program. Undergraduate social work students help by stocking shelves and taking inventory. It is funded completely by donations, including a major gift from North Kansas City Hospital. Food drives were recently conducted at the University, Parkville City Hall and Northland Baptist Church.

Donations of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items can be placed in the donation bin outside Pirate Pantry or dropped off in the pantry. Donation bins will also be available at Parkville City Hall. Bulk donations can be coordinated by e-mail to and financial donations can be made by check written to Park University with Pirate Pantry in the memo line.

Mayor Nan Johnston said, “The City is very proud of our Pirate Community. We hope that raising awareness about this issue will increase the number of donations received. We are pleased to partner with Park University on this endeavor.”

For more information about the Pirate Pantry, visit

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