Food pantry supplied on campus

Josh Woodward and Matthew Klein

The IVCC Micro Food Pantry is available to all students who may need extra food at no cost.

According to CampusLogic’s graphic, featured above, 20 percent of students are dealing with being hungry on top of all their coursework. In addition, 13 percent of all college students attend college while being homeless.

Because of these statistics and other contributing factors, micro pantries are crucial on all educational campuses. In response to this, IVCC faculty and staff members took initiative.

In August of 2018, the micro food pantry went into full effect on IVCC campuses after faculty members sought out for donations and help from members of the community. At this point the community got involved and donated an overwhelming abundance of food items. Both Ottawa and the Main Campus are actively involved.

The campaign has already received a great amount of success, and part of that credit is due to other colleges that have similar services that offered advice to the IVCC faculty and staff.

IVCC is now organizing additional information that could be helpful to students and plans to place this display next to the cabinet.

IVCC encourages all students to partake in the pantry whether it is through donations or even taking items when need be. That’s why it’s there, after all.

The organizers of this campaign understand that being a college student is hard and that there’s a multitude of stressors a student undergoes.

The main reason this campaign started was to eliminate the stress of hunger from students and help them focus on their education.

The great thing about the micro pantry is that it’s, for the most part, confidential. It was put in a more secluded area to eliminate any embarrassments a student might have. The organizers of the campaign want to make sure students are comfortable and are willing to partake in it without problems.

Each week, the pantry is inventoried and restocked. “The school is still burning through the original stock given to the school through donations,” said Mark Gryzbowski vice president of student services.

Volunteers who help inventory and restock make sure all food in the cabinets is edible and have no expired expiration dates.

“Pamphlets would offer more information about social services within area communities,” IVCC instructor Delores Robinson said. “For instance, we hope to have a display of pamphlets with information about public transportation, early childhood services, free or reduced health services, information about addiction recovery support services, and many other such resources.”

Anyone looking to donate items to the micro pantry should bring their donation to the counseling center.