The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

On-campus food pantry will help struggling Guilford students

Late-night infomercials and six o’clock news reports constantly remind us that hunger wreaks havoc in foreign nations, but this problem is a lot closer to home than we might realize.

The Community Kitchens Project and the Center for Continued Education are working to create an on-campus food pantry as a resource for Guilford students who regularly struggle to afford meals.

“There (are) a lot of adult learning students here, (and) all their money goes to trying to return back to school, but they might not have

Joy Damon

enough left over to have food for their families,” said first-year Noelle Lane, leader of the food pantry project.

CCE students typically reside in the Greensboro area, and the number of families in this region without enough money for food has been increasing since the turn of the millennium, according to data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture.

In 2010, the Food Research and Action Center recorded that the Greensboro-High Point metropolitan area had the fourth highest rate of food hardship in the nation at 24.9 percent. FRAC defines food hardship as “answering ‘yes’ to the question posed by the Gallup organization to hundreds of thousands of people: ‘Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?’”

This means that in the past year, about one out of four people in the Greensboro area struggled to feed their household.

“I know that the groups serving food to people (in the area), such as the Interactive Resource Center, Food Not Bombs, and Greensboro Urban Ministry, have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of people coming to them for meals,” said Sherry Giles, associate professor of justice and policy studies, in an email interview. Giles teaches a class on community problem solving.

Because the level of food donations has not increased to meet the growing demand, Giles said that many pantries are experiencing food shortages.

This hunger problem is not exclusive to CCE students, though. Lane said that many traditional students are opting for smaller meal plans out of monetary necessity rather than choice, and such plans are not able to sustain students for the whole week. As such, the food pantry will be open to both traditional and CCE students.

The Community Kitchens Project seeks to collect nonperishable foodstuffs, such as canned goods and pastas, for students in need. Another, less typical, request is baby food.

“A lot of the CCE students are trying to do right by their kids,” said Lane. “They don’t want their kids to feel the stress of being hungry (or) knowing that their mom or dad is stressed out because they can’t provide. If they could just go to the food pantry, their kid would never have to know that that problem existed.”

The group will place marked boxes in buildings around campus to collect donations. For those who may not be able to contribute food, the group will also be fundraising periodically.

“A pocketful of change will help buy something,” said Bonner Hunger Fellow Chelsey Wilson. “We want our fellow classmates to be there, be in class, be full, be engaged. With an empty stomach in class, you’re kind of like, ‘bleh.’”

“You don’t have to be homeless to be hungry,” said Lane. “We need to take care of our people right here.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *