Naseeka’s Story of Hope & Courage
March 3, 2020 by Erika Spence
"When I think of food insecurity on college campuses, it's heartbreaking," explains Naseeka Dixon, manager at the Knights Helping Knights Pantry at UCF. "Food is something everyone needs, and sometimes we all need a little help."
Naseeka knows what it's like to ask for help. When her sister enrolled in college, it put even more stress on her mother to support both of them single-handedly. "My mom would send me cash when she could," she recalls. "School was my priority, and I was trying to do my best in class."
Her tuition was paid with scholarships and financial aid and her part time job covered rent. However, there were times that she didn't have much to put towards food, gas or emergency expenses, like when her car broke down or when her laptop crashed.
"It just didn't feel right to work so hard to get into college and then not have all the resources to be successful."
Naseeka found the resources and support she needed at the Knights Helping Knights Pantry. All enrolled students at UCF can access the pantry once per day throughout each semester. She found easy access to items like pasta, canned soup, bread and even produce.
Her experience utilizing pantry services makes her more empathetic to students who visit the pantry now. "I’m glad to be part of the support system. This place is just as important to student success as other resources like the health clinic and the math lab."