Rex’s Pantry at AIC Celebrates First Anniversary of Serving People in Need

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) is celebrating the first anniversary of Rex’s Pantry, a food and necessities pantry founded a year ago to assist community members in need.

Rex’s Pantry was launched in December 2017 and since that time has prepared and served more than 1,500 hot meals in Springfield, assisted in the collection and local distribution of thousands of pounds of canned food; supported various community food efforts; distributed cold weather gear, including gloves, caps, socks, and hand warmers to the homeless; provided hundreds of Rex to the Rescue kits, which included boxed lunches; and offered fellowship led by Father John McDonagh, head of AIC’s campus ministry and outreach, to those participating in the Rex’s Pantry hot meal program.

Rex’s Pantry is a college initiative that has mobilized a dedicated and ever-expanding corps of volunteers, including undergraduate and graduate students, student athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff.

“American International College founded Rex’s Pantry in an effort to provide for those who cannot always provide for themselves. It is this higher dedication to community service that has further opened the hearts of the AIC family to assist those in need,” said AIC Vice President for Marketing and Communications Robert Cole, founder of Rex’s Pantry.

He added that “Rex’s Pantry would never have become a reality without the support of AIC President Vince Maniaci, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Jeff Bednarz, and Todd Alden, Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services director at AIC. The Chartwells team has been remarkable. They plan the menus and prepare all of the food being plated and served by our volunteers.”

Beneficiaries of the efforts of Rex’s Pantry include the Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen at both South Congregational Church and Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee, Friends of the Homeless, and the Springfield Rescue Mission.

Rex, a yellowjacket, is the AIC mascot.