You may have noticed a grand overflow of food (and love) at the UCF’s Knights Helping Knights Pantry this year. Thanks to Wellness & Health Promotion Services’ Christine Pugh and her partnership with Lucky’s Market Orlando, thousands of healthy food items have been donated to the pantry since February 2017.

Pugh is a graduate of UCF’s Leadership Empowerment Program where she created her own project to both help the university and encourage community building.

She works closely with WHPS’ FreshU nutrition initiative that gives students access to healthy food options on campus and provide sustainability for those items. She thought of a golden opportunity to meet both needs for her project and benefit WHPS when she heard about Lucky’s Market, which opened in June 2016 and is only about 10 minutes away from main campus.

Pugh and the WHPS staff took a field trip last December to see what they’re all about, and a month and a half later, the partnership began.

Every Tuesday and Thursday since February, Pugh has personally loaded her storm blue Nissan Altima with hundreds of food items to deliver to the Pantry. As of Nov. 14, Lucky’s has donated 3,319 food items – 1,709 this semester alone.

“Students now have access to fruits, vegetables, baked goods, full meals, chips, peanuts, candied apples, juice, popcorn, cereals and more,” Pugh said. Students can take up to five free food items per day at the Pantry with a UCF ID.

In addition, WHPS and Lucky’s donate food items to the Creative School for Children.

Pugh also teaches a couponing class. “I always love going to her couponing classes.” UCF student Jazmine Manriquez said. “She makes the class engaging and fun. Apart from that you can tell she is really passionate for couponing, teaching others and helping them excel, too. She is sweet, funny and dedicated.”

Pugh has a passion for health education and with this new partnership and her go-getter attitude, she has made a positive impact on the UCF community.