By Raechel Morgan, Staff Writer

Last year, Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) partnered with local food bank Care and Share to bring essential food items to campus for families who need it. This Fall, PPCC welcomed the Mobile Food Market back to the Centennial Atrium on September 17, but if you missed the food truck, it will be back Monday, October 15.

The mobile pantry will be returning the 3rd Monday of every month to the Atrium at Centennial Campus throughout the semester.

The event always begins at 11 a.m. and continues until supplies last. Last month, the supplies ran out within two hours. A line usually forms before 11, but do not be discouraged. The volunteers are very fast and friendly, and will have you in and out in no time.

The Mobile Pantry is open to the Colorado Springs community, so you do not have to be a student to participate. Bring your own bags and get a good amount of free food, no matter if you attend classes here or not.

The Mobile Food Pantry offers a wide variety of fresh food and other perishables, such as apples, pears, freshly picked spinach, squash, pastries, bottled water, and even some frozen pizza.

If your need for food is urgent between Mobile Pantry visits, you can visit PPCC’s new food pantry, The Community Table, located in room A312 at the Centennial Campus. The new food pantry replaces the old pantry which has operated out of the fitness center and Student Life since 2008.

The Community Table has been open since the beginning of the fall semester. This is bigger than the past pantry at the Centennial Campus, stocked with non-perishable items and with fresh produce when available.

“Students can come up 5 days a week, 7 items a day,” said Steve Grippo, who runs the pantry. He says the pantry so far serves about forty-five people a week.

Students can visit both the Mobile Truck and the pantry, said Grippo.

Monetary, food and plastic bag donations are welcome. Both the Mobile Pantry and The Community Table would love to have volunteers from the PPCC community, too.

“Bring things that we aren’t going to get; because we buy staples, so if they want to buy cake mixes, we don’t buy those things, we just buy the staples. And we can only do non-perishables, cause we don’t have the refrigeration,”
The pantries also receive donations from the music and theater departments. When a program or concert is performing, the price for admission is a non-perishable item.

The Community Table is open to all faculty, staff, and students. Two other food pantries, at the Downtown and Rampart Range campuses, exist just for students and are located in Student Life (S234 Downtown and S207 at Rampart).

A portion of student fees go to the pantries, which is why food at the smaller campuses are for students only.

Because Care and Share partners with The Mobile Food Pantry and The Community Table, recipients are required to sign in for their records so the food bank knows how many people it is helping.

Students do not have to show IDs and they will remain anonymous within the school.

Once a week, students can pick up to eight food items, and a toiletry if they are available, at either campus once a week. Three cup of noodles is equal to one item.

Ellard said the pantries would like to provide more toiletry items to students, but don’t have the resources. Donations of deodorant, sanitary products, shampoo, and razors are welcome.

The Downtown pantry services about fifteen to twenty students a week and the Rampart Range pantry services about six students a week.

That number has increased since the closing of the old Centennial Campus student pantry. Before the new Community Table opened, Downtown served about 150 people and Rampart served close to 60 between August 27 to September 14.

The school pantries haven’t just helped the students of PPCC, but other colleges in Colorado too. People have come from Pueblo Community College and University of Colorado Springs to visit our school’s pantries to see how they operate.

On-Campus Pantry Hours:

Continental Campus: Monday- Friday 8-5
Downtown Campus: Monday-Tuesday 8-6, Wednesday-Friday 8-5
Rampart Range Campus: Monday-Tues 8-6, Wednesday- Friday 8-5

For more information on The Community Table contact Steve Grippo.

For more information on Downtown and Rampart Range Campus Pantries contact Cheryl Ellard.