The Grand Rapids Community College student-run food pantry is experiencing a scarcity problem and is seeking donations from anyone who can help; this includes a food drive for campus organizations sponsored by Campus Activities. The pantry opened last year to serve a diverse student population during tough times to meet their daily needs.
“One of the struggles we have is keeping enough food on the shelves,” said Sara Dorer, director of Student Life and Conduct. “If you can’t eat, you can’t focus in school.”
The food drive for organizations is scheduled for Oct. 22 to Oct. 26.
“I am hoping for lots of organizations to get involved and raise awareness about our food pantry,” said Emily Smitter, president of Campus Activities.
The drive will be operating on a point system; all student organizations that participate will be considered teams. Collected food will be counted based on the point system, and the team that earns the most points will win a pizza party. Even though the point system is designed for team participation, other donations from the general student body are welcome and encouraged.
“We need food throughout the year, not just during the food drive,” said Dorer. “There are only a few people that donate regularly.”
She said the organization had to create a wait list in response to the amount of students that need the services on campus. Dorer explained that the reason behind creating a waiting list was to better serve students in the program. They wanted to make sure that the students who have already been accepted into the program will have enough food.
“There is a short wait list, at least this semester, until we determine if we can serve more students,” said Dorer.
The requirements for the food items that are donated are that all items must be unopened and non-perishable, inside the original packaging and with the original labels. Bulk items will not be accepted– each item must weigh two lb. or less. For student organizations to earn points, each item must be labeled with the organizations’ names.
Donations can be dropped off in the Student Life office during normal business hours. The food pantry has a need for single family servings, not bulk items.
Students in need of assistance can fill out an application in the Student Life office.
“The student food pantry will continue as long as sustainable,” said Dorer.