Thanks to an abundance of donations over the holidays, AACC’s food pantry is overflowing.
The donors responsible for the success of the food pantry include participants in last year’s Turkey Trot, Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast and nursing convention.
“The college community donated items to the student food pantry at the fall Convocation in August. That brought us a lot of food, and set us up well for the fall semester,” Christine Storck, director of student engagement, said.
For spring, Storck added: “We are very fortunate at this time to have a sufficient amount of food to start [the semester] off. This year was the first time faculty and staff had been specifically asked to bring food items to the convocation.”
The food pantry for students is located in the Student Engagement Office in the SUN Building, Room 205. The pantry is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Each semester, six or seven students visit the food pantry each day to pick up non-perishable foods like peanut butter, canned goods and dried cereal, as well as toiletries. To use the pantry, students must present their AACC ID cards.
“I have never needed the food pantry,” Brandon Carnie, a second-year transfer studies student, said. “I actually just found out we had one last year from my friend who has gone a couple times.”
“I did not think a community college could get so many donations for food,” third-year student Meg Thomas said.
“I would have thought we had a good amount but not over-flowing to the point of having it be an issue or a possible issue.”
Michelle Williams, a third-year computer science major, said she used the food pantry a few weeks ago.
“[Students] don’t use it much because they seem to be embarrassed,” she said. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, though; if you need help, you need help. The school offers it. Don’t be afraid to take it.”
The veterans’ pantry, located in the Military and Veteran Resource Center in Room 123 of the library, received some of the overflow donations from the main food pantry.
The veterans’ food pantry is not overflowing but has just enough food, according to Harlan Harrell, military/veterans student success and retention adviser.
This is not the first time the student food pantry has been overflowing with donations. “There have been some other times after large food drives when we have been full,” Storck said.