Posted 12 p.m., Sept. 17, 2013

choosing food item

Neat and tidy:

Human services student Shani Anderson gets the sehvles ready for hungry students in need of a meal.

Photo by Vycktoryja Selves

Campus Food Pantry

Human services students establish first campus food pantry in Business Bulding  

By Vycktoryja Selves
Photo Editor

Laramie County Community College welcomed the opening of a on-campus food pantry on the bottom floor of the Business and Technology Building, Room 108 on Sept. 6.

With the guidance of Dr. JoLene Klumpp, instructor of human services and psychology, and Jeri Griego, instructor of accounting and business, human services students will organize and operate the food pantry, which is available to all LCCC students.

The pantry will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday for the next from Sept. 16-27 before establishing permanent hours.

Students are limited to five items a visit. A point system was created to ensure fairness. A can of soup would equal one item, but four small peanut butter cracker packs would also equal one, for example.

Students are asked to fill out an information form as well as bring their ID. The information remains anonymous and is used to collect data on how the food pantry is used.

National problem drives local solution

Food insecure is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as limited or uncertain access to nutritious, safe foods necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. One is six Americans does not have enough food to sustain a healthy life. In 2011, student Kirbie Brown wrote a paper on food insecurities on college campuses. From there, the LCCC human services program students figured out ways to respond to the issues presented. As a class, they decided their final project would be raising funds to feed LCCC students on the Cheyenne campus.

The next year in 2012, the issue of food insecurity came up again. New human services program students then informally surveyed 105 students and found 74 percent were food insecure at least once a week.

With that gathered information, Klumpp presented the information to the college’s administration, who offered their full support for a student-run food pantry.

Meanwhile, Greigo offered the room in business to be used as the location for the food pantry. After working together on collecting more data, Klumpp and Griego talked with LCCC’s president, Dr. Joe Schaffer, who suggested the group submit a Golden Apple Grant proposal through the LCCC Foundation.

Once the Golden Apple Grant was received, plans were made to purchase a freezer. To market the food pantry, J.L. O’Brien, multimedia instructor, asked if his computer graphics students to participate in a Service Learning project to create a brand identity. In the spring the desktop publishing students of Rosaland Schliske, mass media instructor, will create a brochure as a Service Learning project.

Last spring, business management students organized a food drive to fill the food pantry as a Service Learning project. The human services students then organized, inventoried and developed tracking data sheets for the pantry. Toward the end of the spring semester, the food pantry was opened to help students during finals. During the summer, a psychology class organized another food drive to keep the inventory stocked.

Semester start pumps up volume

At the beginning of this semester, Griego and Klumpp involved their fellow co-workers in the fight against student hunger. At an all-campus meeting the college employees were separated into 21 groups, representing the college’s 21 buildings and armed with noisemakers and horns Klumpp then held up a sign with a food pantry category written on it. The group who made the most noise won the sign, which represented what those in the building would donate to the pantry.

To judge, the four new deans, led by Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jose Fierro, watched as many of the staff members did their best to be the loudest. Even with their small group, those from the Agriculture Building carried their weight by contributing half a hog.

Throughout the year, workers in all the buildings will donate their bid item to help keep the pantry stocked.

If a student has more than just himself to care for, connections can be made to after programs.

The food pantry is not just for hungry students. Items such as soap and shampoo, shaving supplies, feminine products, diapers and other hygiene items have also been donated.

Students are welcome to stock the food pantry as well. Items such as canned fruits and vegetables, shelf-stable meals and soups are great. Meals such as tuna and crackers portioned as one-person meals will offer healthy alternatives to prevent overeating. Containers are placed in every building where the food is collected, or students can drop food off in front of Griego’s office, Business, Room 118.