By Christopher Schasser
Grand Rapids Community College is taking action against student hunger by operating food and snack pantries all around campus.
Director of Student Life and Conduct Lina Blair said that the food pantry is located on the first floor of the Student Center and described the services the pantry provides.
“So, a student can have access to the food pantry once every two weeks and grab a reusable shopping bag worth of food,” Blair said. “And usually what we stock in the food pantry is everything from like toiletry items and personal hygiene items to canned goods, pasta, like Hamburger Helper meal prep type stuff, breakfast items, oatmeal, that kind of thing.”
To sign up for the pantry, a student must be enrolled in at least one class and go to the Student Life homepage on GRCC’s website and fill out a Google Form that they then renew at the start of each semester.
“Basically, we ask that students provide a little bit of information so we can get to know the types of students that we are serving,” Blair said. “So we can make sure that we are targeting those students who are similar, but might not have utilized the food pantry yet.”
In addition to the food pantry, the college also provides several snack pantries around campus where a student can walk in and grab a snack whenever they are hungry.
“If there is food on the shelf and you are hungry, take the food on the shelf,” Blair said.
Students do not have to register for the snack pantries, they are there for convenience. These snack pantries contain basic snacking items from granola bars to fruit cups and more. There is usually at least one microwave near each of these locations to heat up some of the cold snacks.
The locations of the snack pantries are:
- English Department, 400 College Park Plaza
- Library and Learning Commons
- First floor of Sneden Hall
- Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Avenue
- Third floor of the Student Center
- (new location) Midtown Center Building, Lakeshore Campus, 96 West 15 Street, Holland
- (new location) Thompson M-TEC Building, Lakeshore Campus, 6364 136 Avenue, Holland
Half of the food is ordered by Student Life through funds provided by The GRCC Foundation and Student Alliance. The other half of the food comes purely from donations. Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at the food pantry. Monetary donations are also accepted through the Dr. Bill Pink Investiture Grant.