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New food pantry tackles hunger on campus

DVC%27s+new+food+pantry+offers+a+variety+canned+goods+and+other+nonperishables.+%28Emma+Hall%2FThe+Inquirer%29
DVC's new food pantry offers a variety canned goods and other nonperishables. (Emma Hall/The Inquirer)

DVC's new food pantry offers a variety canned goods and other nonperishables. (Emma Hall/The Inquirer)

DVC's new food pantry offers a variety canned goods and other nonperishables. (Emma Hall/The Inquirer)

Emma Hall, Assistant Editor

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Diablo Valley College is joining the fight against hunger on campus. The grand opening of DVC’s food pantry occurred on Sept. 19 in the Student Union Multicultural Center, welcoming all students. While the pantry has been functioning for 16 weeks with 248 students attending its services, the pantry was in need of a more formal opening.

The food pantry strives for providing emergency and supplement meals for people who do not know where their next meal will come from or have limited amounts of food. These issues are known as food insecurities and affect 42 percent of community college students according to National Public Radio. With the opening of the food pantry, DVC hopes to help students through their food insecurities.

“I like the food pantry,” said student Dahila Jermany. “It’s going to help me out a lot, most of the food I can afford is not vegetables or juices, even with food stamps, here you can get that food though.”

According to DVC’s food pantry page, there is research showing students without proper nutrition have difficulty focusing on school work, often due to worrying about where their next meal will come from. The Associated Students of DVC (ASDVC) was successfully able to establish the food pantry with assistance from DVC’s administration, foundation office, English department, student life office, and the Contra Costa/Solano County Food Bank.

“It’s an incredible collaboration,” said ASDVC advisor Todd Farr. “It will help address our students who are facing food insecurities.”  

During the food pantry grand opening, students and faculty gathered to watch live music from Dr. Terence Elliott’s music 108 and 109 classes. The room was filled with smiling faces and everyone was friendly towards one another, creating a very welcoming environment. It was apparent that there was a strong and caring community supporting the food pantry.

“We’re here to help,” said Interm Program Assistant for the food pantry, Corie Irving, “We’re a family and a union.”

During the opening, ASDVC student assistant Panda Geraldo gave a passionate speech thanking everyone who was involved in the process of creating the food pantry. He especially drew light towards vice president Newin Orante who encouraged and pushed the project.

DVC President Susan Lamb also spoke at the opening, praising the food pantry and everyone involved in the process.

“I think this community has come together with love,” said Lamb. “This started with a seed of ASDVC kids and (the food pantry) feeds the body, heart, and soul.”

The Food Pantry is also receiving donations and grants from the DVC Retiree Association Board, Kaiser Permanente, Whole Foods, and Safeway. At the grand opening, former DVC administration alumni attended the event. Dr. Diane Scotts-Summer, a former dean of instruction and former DVC president Judi Walters made an appearance to represent DVC’s Retiree program.

“The Retiree program has been very interested in this program,” said Dr. Diane Scotts-Summer, a former dean of instruction at DVC and representative of DVC’s Retiree Association Board. “We’ve definitely been looking at ways to get involved.

‘It really took a community to move this food pantry into the multicultural center,” said Orante. “It was the folks who came together and rolled up their sleeves that made this happen.”

Food bags with meals inside, also are prepared for the applicants who have finished an online menu request form on DVC’s food pantry page. From there, an applicant can pick up their food bag Monday through Thursday at 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on the first floor of the Student Union Multicultural Center. If an applicant is unable to pick up their meal at the scheduled times, they can email Sara Larkin, DVC’s Program Coordinator, at slarkin@dvc.com for assistance.

For more information or questions about the Food Pantry please visit The Food Pantry’s website at https://www.dvc.edu/student-services/student-life/food-pantry.html

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About the Writer
Emma Hall, Assistant Editor

Assistant editor, fall 2018.

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New food pantry tackles hunger on campus