Pantry feeds students

Cierra Buckley, Staff Writer

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SPRINGFIELD — For many students on Lincoln Land’s campus, the next big test isn’t the biggest challenge they face. It’s where they will get their next meal.

According to a 2016 Hunger on Campus study, as many as one in four students faced food insecurity in the last 30 days. The college hopes a 1-year-old initiative will help alleviate that problem.

Lincoln Land Community College’s Student Life office implemented a food pantry in November 2016 to combat food insecurity among the LLCC student population.

“The idea was initially brought to me in the spring 2016 semester by Lesley Frederick and Todd McDonald,” said Student Engagement Coordinator Marie Watson. “They stated that they were researching the term ‘food insecurity,’ and it motivated them to start to provide support to LLCC’s students in the area of supplemental health.”

The food bank’s main goal is to provide food, but it also helps students get the extra help they need with things like personal care and hygiene items. The LLCC Food Program is supported by the LLCC Foundation.

“Approximately 80-plus students” have used the food bank, Watson said.

Students must have a student ID and complete an intake form to use the pantry. Students then get to choose the food and supplies from a checklist provided by a Student Life staff member.

The college plans to focus on helping students just on campus. Watson said, “We really targeted (the program) for those students who come to school to learn and can’t because of other worries, like their next meal.”

The food pantry’s hours of operation are three days a week.

  • Monday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1 to 4 p.m.

“Even if you aren’t a student anymore and prove that you were in a previous semester, you’re eligible,” Watson said.

The food banks ask faculty, staff, and others to donate food and money.

For those wishing to donate, a list is available in Student Life with items that they need. Items are not just food, but items such as shopping bags, microwaveable safe bowls and personal care and hygiene items.

Any donation not used by the LLCC Food Pantry will be donated to the Illinois Central Food Bank.

Cierra Buckley can be reached at [email protected].

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Pantry feeds students