Lunafest Film Festival – Fundraiser for Food Pantry & Student Crisis Fund, Thursday, September 27, 7:00 p.m., Lecture Center 100

At SUNY New Paltz, we are planning a Lunafest to celebrate diversity & inclusion by showing films made by and about women and to raise awareness about food insecurity on U.S. college campuses and in the Hudson Valley region. This event will be a fundraiser for the SUNY New Paltz Food Pantry and the Student Crisis Fund.  Our intention is to have a student/faculty/staff/public community-building event.  As Rev. Dr. Dianna Smith reported:this year, there were 746 visits to the SUNY New Paltz food pantry including 80 staff visits and 79 new students. We feel this is an issue that involves all of us, and a problem that we can work on together.  Dutchess Community College, Ulster Community College, and Norwalk Community College will join our efforts by reaching out to faculty, staff & students to publicize the event and by helping us come up with initiatives to address this challenge in our classrooms and in our community.  We invite regional food banks, wellness advisories, and the public to join the conversation and contribute their knowledge and ideas.

Ticket Info: Free for students. Suggested donation $5.00 – 10.00 or a healthy, non-perishable food or personal care item.

Date:  Thursday, September 27

Time:  5:30 p.m. panel on food insecurity (see below); 7:00 Lunafest

Location:  Lecture Center 100, State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

Schedule of Events:

5:30 Panel on Food Insecurity

6:30 Break – food vendors and community outreach conversations

7:00 Lunafest screening (1.5 hours; 9 short films, PG 13)

8:30  Community Conversation and Brainstorming: What can we do on campus and in the region to reduce food insecurity?


Dr. David Levinson (Class of 1975) President of Norwalk Community College and co-founder of their Food Pantry; Professor Brian Obach, author of Organic Struggle, the Movement for Sustainable Agriculture in the United States (Food, Health, and the Environment) (2017); Isabelle Hayes (Students for Sustainable Agriculture); Professor Shala Mills (Political Science/ Graduate & Extended Learning) will speak on her research on food insecurity on U.S. college Campuses; Dr. Leonard Nevarez (Vassar College) will speak about the Dutchess Outreach program; attorney Regina Calcaterra (Class of 1988), author of Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island, will speak on her own experiences with homelessness and food insecurity as a SUNY New Paltz student.

For more information on food insecurity, please see this brief video that features Dr. Shala Mills here and information on President Dr. David Levinson’s Food Pantry project at Norwalk Community College. Regina Calcaterra speaks about Etched in Sand, the memoir that treats her experience of abuse, foster care, homelessness, and hunger on Long Island here.

Here is info on the LUNAFEST fundraising aspect of the project. This is a highly celebrated series of contemporary short films that supports women filmmakers, women’s causes and their main beneficiary, Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Please encourage students, colleagues, and all members of the campus & extended communities to participate in this wonderful event.  They can attend the panel, the screening, or both.  Complimentary refreshments!

Needs List for New Paltz Food Pantry, Student Union Building SUB 322.

Food gift cards for local supermarkets, non-perishable food items (rice, pasta, canned meat & tunafish, dried beans, etc.). Pop-top lids helpful.

Personal items: toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, feminine sanitary products

School supplies: pens, pencils, notebooks, post-it notes, paper, erasers

Dutchess Community College food pantry:

Parking:  Please park in the Route 32 lot, opposite Haggerty Office Building and the Student Union.

Questions & suggestions: Sarah Wyman (