By Esbehidy Hernandez
Grand Rapids Community College Student Life offers several resources that are beneficial to all GRCC students. Student Life’s mission is to help students during these tough times to get through as efficiently and stress-free as possible.
In addition to issuing RaiderCards, Student Life offers an abundance of resources such as materials ranging from school supplies to quiet spaces to study in as well as event spaces. The office is also the home of the food pantry where they offer canned food, diapers, wipes, etc. Students can drop by Mon-Fri from 8 a.m-5 p.m. during regular office hours if any questions arise.
The Student Life staff have recently been working much harder with the great need for help within the community that has increased due to COVID-19. One of the many resources that has been very active is the food pantry.
Ashley Fox, Student Life Assistant Director said, “Last semester (Fall 2021), 162 students utilized the food pantry with a total of 615 visits throughout the semester. At this point in this semester (Winter 2022), I see that 104 students have visited with 224 total visits.”
While GRCC has been operating a food pantry for many years, the pantry forced it to grow to meet students’ needs.
“The pantry has been on campus for over 10 years but only recently (March 2020) has been scaled up to offer a wider variety of food and things,” Fox said.
Student Life understands that students are busy with many things like school and work, so they made sure the process was as easy and efficient as possible. “Visiting the pantry is as simple as checking in at the front desk in Student Life (with a RaiderCard). After checking in, individuals are offered bags for ‘shopping’ items and can choose food and other supplies (personal hygiene, household) for themselves,” Fox said.
They also offer opportunities for donating and collect food and resources that would be helpful. An Amazon wishlist is available on the Student Life website, which gives you a more efficient way to donate.
Student Life also helps students find resources and organizations via the RaiderConnect link on their website where students can log in using their GRCC credentials. There, Student Life can also help students form new clubs for other students to join.
“We want people to feel comfortable,” Fox said.