Proposition to create food pantry in Student Union Building passed


Chris Core

The DVC Student Union Building where the food pantry is planned to be constructed.

Chris Core, Staff member

Associated Students of Diablo Valley College (ASDVC) passed a proposition to transform the student union kitchen into a food pantry at their Oct. 17 meeting.

The council passed the plan unanimously. The plan will now go to the Diablo Valley College board to decide whether or not the plan will go into effect.

The pantry would be constructed on the bottom floor of the Student Union Building and would cater to students that are suffering with financial difficulties and low food security.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines low food security as “reports of reduced quality, variety or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.”

“I am absolutely in favor of this plan,” said ASDVC President Kevin Zhang. “I am definitely confident that DVC Food Pantry will be an effective solution to this issue and better support the DVC community.”

Zhang discussed how ASDVC ran a food pantry survey to see how aware students are of food insecurity.

The survey showed that 70 percent of students were aware that food insecurity among college students is an issue.

“ASDVC is fully aware of the importance of this issue and has been working diligently in order to tackle the food insecurity,” said Zhang

Todd Farr, the ASDVC adviser, showed his support of the plan stating, “The mission of DVC’s food program is to broaden access to food for the students and their families.”

Farr explained the need for a food pantry at DVC with a reference to The Borgen Project, an organization created to bring poverty and hunger to world leaders attention.

The Borgen Project states on their website, “The sad truth is that hunger can have physical and psychological effects on young people that make learning substantially difficult.”

Currently, the Student Union kitchen is not in use and is not open for public access.

Vice President Dr. Newin Orante has held three meetings to coordinate a college proposal to the plan.  The meetings housed supporters such as bistro manager, George Delfabro, political science professor Albert Ponce, sociology professor Sangha Niyogi and English department chair Katy Agnost, along with a few others in attendance according to Todd Farr. 

“The DVC Food Pantry is designed to meet the food needs of our students,” Dr. Sangha Niyogi said. “By providing a variety of non-perishable, limited perishable food items and basic hygiene necessities to students and their families.”

Dr. Niyogi said that two initiatives are in place.

The first initiative is the food pantry and the second being the “I Eat, We Eat Program.”

The “I Eat, We Eat Program” is made to “utilize existing function and services within the college,” said Dr. Niyogi. “After the identification of eligible students, a fixed amount of dollars will be entered into their student accounts which they will be able to use at the Bistro.”

DVC interim-President Ted Wieden said that he is in favor of the project.

“The benefit would be to provide food to students who may not otherwise have enough money for food,” said Wieden.

ASDVC is hopeful that the pantry will get passed by the school board and will begin construction over winter break.

The approximate budget discussed during the ASDVC meeting is approximately $40,000.

Interim-President Wieden said that he is “not aware that a timeline for the remodel has been developed.”