Pantry raid: Students benefit

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Pima’s West Campus is in the process of creating a food bank for students who aren’t getting enough to eat.

The West Campus Social Services Student Organization is the club that brought this idea to the drawing board, with the Student Life Center’s staff support.

Roxanna Lucero, Student Life support tech, said the food bank is still a work in progress.

Judy Palmer, a Student Development support specialist, has given them use of an office inside a nearby classroom to store any donations they receive. Times for them to access it needs to be arranged around class schedules.

“We mostly need to find a way to organize together better,” Lucero said.

Lucero said they have a food donation from Patricia Trainor through Jobpath, a local nonprofit workforce development organization, that can be given to students.

But they need more donations to become a food bank.

“We need anything nonperishable,” Lucero said. “Canned food, noodles, ramen cups, cereal, anything that has an expiration date at least a month away.”

She says their department has very limited fridge space, so they can’t store donations that need to be kept cold.

Pima’s Northwest Campus has been running a food bank for students for two to three years.

Carlos Rosas, a Northwest Campus Student Life support tech, said they also distribute hygiene products.

“We have everything from soap, deodorant, shampoo and female products to a lot of canned food like corn, tuna and chicken,” Rosas said. “Things that expire next year or beyond.”

He said they rely on students and teachers to donate to their food bank.

“Some teachers offer extra credit for students that will bring us supplies,” Rosas said.

Rosas said students who would like a food box can go to their Student Life Center between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

“They come in and ask us, we take them to the back and give them a box,” Rosas said. “They choose what they would like to put in it, and we’ll help them take it out to their car if they would like.”

Nichole Hayes, Student Life coordinator at Pima’s East Campus, said they do not have a food bank but they do have hygiene products for students.

“We have a wellness cabinet that has hygiene products, such as deodorant, soap, tampons, sanitary pads, tooth brushes, toothpastes, wet wipes, shampoo, razors, lotion, conditioner, etc.,” Hayes said.

Lucero said you don’t have to be low income to qualify for help from any campus food bank or hygiene collection.

“Some students are away from home, on their own, or don’t have a job,” Lucero said. “Student Life’s help is for any student that is in need of food.”

Lucero believes that once they get a food bank at West Campus going, they can relieve stress from students that are going hungry.

“They won’t need to worry about what they need to eat, they can just worry about school,” Lucero said. “It’s one more worry off their shoulders when they know they can eat something.”

Northwest Campus’ food bank is reliant on teachers and students supporting it, and as a result, it has thrived. If anyone would like to donate nonperishable food to the West Campus Student Life Center, they should bring their donation in during office hours.

The Northwest Campus pantry is bursting with food and personal hygiene items.

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