By Sapphire Gallegos and Dejanique Calloway
Over 150 people lined up at the Centennial Campus Sept. 19 to receive free food from the new mobile food pantry, a partnership between PPCC and Care and Share, a local food bank. The partnership provides both food to students and volunteers to distribute the food.
Starting out small, the food pantry began as a way for students to get canned foods such as fruits and vegetables or personal supplies such as shampoo and baby wipes.
The pantry has almost everything to help prevent hunger for the community. But pantry directors, Social Work faculty Tiko Hardy and Ann-Marie Manning, wanted more. They worked with PPCC President, Dr. Lance Bolton, and Care and Share to further develop the Mobile Food Pantry.
On Sept. 18, Care and Share and PPCC’s volunteers held the first event at Centennial Campus on Monday handing out, 4,500 pounds of food according to volunteers.
In this load, produce such as fresh veggies and fruits were provided as well as baked goods such as bread.
After the launch of the pantry, Manning reported, “more than 150 students and staff received food…and there were over 550 people in their households”.
Manning said Care and Share will bring more food next month, and has plans to come to PPCC the third Monday of each month.
Helping out the cause, stores such as Wal-mart, Target, and Natural Grocers donated bags for students and staff to use while collecting their produce.
Looking towards the future, Manning explains there will be a mobile pantry set up for the Downtown Campus soon, though a date has not yet been announced.
There are no current plans to park the Mobile Pantry at the Rampart Range Campus. Manning said there needs to be further research in finding what students need up north versus down south.
“This is just the start of a major project. We have a lot more to figure out, and we need to expand this,” Manning said.
After concluding Monday’s event, Manning and her volunteers were very proud of the success for the first day of running The Mobile Pantry. The Mobile Pantry will return to Centennial next on Oct. 16th., and Manning is looking for more volunteers from the PPCC community to help.
Reflecting on Monday’s turnout, Manning said, “I’m very happy about how it went–again it takes a village. There were many collaborative hands in this. It was great.”
For more information on The Mobile Pantry or how you can help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com