|Dhiaa Jamil at dedication of a food pantry |
for UNC Charlotte students
Dhiaa Jamil grew up comfortably, the son of Egyptian parents with sufficient financial resources. By the time he entered college at UNC Charlotte that had all changed.
“When I ended up here, I had no means,” he said. “I worked, struggled and relied on the giving of others. Some people call it ‘food security.’ I call it hunger.”
Jamil became interested when he learned about a new project at his alma mater — a food pantry for needy students. He first heard about the pantry at a Board of Trustees retreat two years ago.
“I perked up because the idea brought me back to a certain time in my life,” Jamil said, speaking of his time as a college student. He and his wife, Hope, became fervent supporters of the then-fledgling operation, which became a small venue on campus.
60th Birthday Honor
The family also established the Hope E. Jamil EPIC Student Fellow Scholarship to provide support for students with financial need. Recently, Hope Jamil put together a donation for a larger food pantry in honor of her husband’s 60th birthday.
|The Jamil Niner Pantry helps ensure |
food security for students.
The naming event was held to honor the Jamils for their generous support to benefit students who struggle with a phenomenon called food security. National studies have found a large number of college students are unable to find or afford nutritious food.
“This food pantry clearly meets a real need for our students,” said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, who was joined by his wife, Lisa, along with members of the Jamil family and others at the naming ceremony. “With this boost from Hope and Dhiaa, it will continue to do so for years to come.”
A 1978 graduate of UNC Charlotte and Duke Energy executive, Dhiaa is currently serving as secretary of the University’s Board of Trustees. He advocates with local corporations on behalf of UNC Charlotte initiatives, including faculty development, scholarships, athletics and the Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band.
The pantry provides assistance to undergraduate and graduate students. It has also benefited from donations from Food Lion, which donated $8,000 worth of nonperishable items to the pantry in its first year. The supermarket chain continues to support the food pantry.
To qualify for assistance, students must live off campus and not have a University meal plan. In addition, each client must complete an intake form and a food-pantry inventory list. In establishing the pantry, UNC Charlotte joined 13 other UNC system institutions with similar initiatives.
“There is no other place I would rather have my name associated with than this building,” Jamil said. “It touches my heart because it provides support to students with dignity.”
# # #