On-campus food pantry helps struggling students succeed in school
Due to a lot of planning and preparation as well as the collection of over 1,500 pounds of food, the Eagle’s Nest Food Bank at Bladen Community College is opening the first week of May.
BCC Faculty Senate President, Sharon Coe, reported to the college trustees at their recent board meeting, that after Hurricane Florence, many students and their families were helped by donations and efforts by faculty and staff. However, the hurricane relief efforts revealed a more constant student need for food or “food insecurity” among students. Across the United States, a growing number of community colleges and universities are establishing free food pantries to help students who regularly experience food insecurity make ends meet.
Free food pantries are becoming nearly as common as the campus bookstore at a growing number of colleges. More than 570 campus food pantries nationwide are registered with the College and University Food Bank Alliance, which formed in 2012 and helps colleges set up food pantries and other hunger programs.
“Students can’t concentrate when they are hungry and stressed. They can’t perform well in your classes,” remarked Ms. Coe.
A report published this month by the University of Wisconsin found 36 percent of 43,000 students attending two- and four-year colleges who were surveyed in 20 states had trouble getting enough to eat, threatening the academic success that’s key to overcoming poverty. Among community college students alone, 42 percent struggled to pay for balanced meals.
“There is no typical student who’s food insecure; it can impact any type of student,” said Dr. Amanda Lee, President of Bladen Community College. “Food pantries cost little to colleges because they’re typically run by volunteer students and faculty and are supported by donations. “
The faculty-run Bladen Community College “Eagle’s Nest” Student Food Bank, named for the school’s mascot, aims to help students with the necessities essential for success.
For more information and assistance or how you can donate to the food bank, please contact a BCC faculty or staff member at 910.879.5500.