Students who deal with food insecurity at Delaware Technical Community College’s Owens Campus have access to food through a Harry K Foundation-sponsored Food Pantry, and the pantry in the Student Services Center seems to be meeting a real need.
“Our students are using this resource,” said Acting Dean of Student Affairs Gail Charrier.
Last year, Delaware Tech participated in a nationwide survey (HOPE Lab Survey) to better gauge students’ basic needs insecurity. The survey showed that 43% of students experienced food insecurity in the thirty days prior to completing in the survey.
To meet the needs of students, the Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware Tech teamed up to help students.
The pantry is open at assigned hours three days – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – when classes are in session. The pantry remained open for two days a week during the summer session as well. Students are able to book a time to visit the pantry through a mobile app, assuring some privacy.
In addition to food from the Food Bank of Delaware, Charrier reports that staff members frequently bring in donations. “We have had a great outpouring of support through food drives and individual donations,” she said.
Last May, for example, a bin for food donations was set up at a celebration associated with graduation.
She noted that in addition to shelf-stable food, the pantry has also received donations of personal and household products. In addition to 30 pounds of food, students can also select another 5 pounds of laundry detergent, dish detergent, and shampoo, for example.
Like any other service-oriented project, this food pantry also relies on volunteers.
“Thanks to Human Services students, club members, faculty, and staff, we have had a very generous volunteer response,” Charrier said.
“We offer students a safe way to use this resource,” Charrier said. Students also receive a paper listing other services and support systems; the information was compiled by the campus’s mental health resource counselor.
Click here to learn more about services provided by the Food Bank of Delaware.