For the past four years, employees in the TRIO office have maintained a food bank open to financially disadvantaged students in their organization, using only money from their own pockets. As of this semester, however, the bank is officially funded by the college and is open to all students on the campus.
We are glad to hear the food bank is expanding. As enrollment rises, more hungry students will need nourishment to help them focus on their studies.
However, we feel that there is still much room for growth.
Last fall semester, the pantry was open to donations from staff and faculty, accepting small food items from whoever was willing to give.
We see no reason why students can’t get involved in the process as well. Sealed snacks, bottled water, loose change — anything that can help feed the hungry on campus — can be donated to help our fellow students in times of need.
We could also involve the on-site Subway restaurant.
Imagine how many people we could feed if the restaurant offered the option of purchasing a bag of chips or a fresh cookie as a donation with their meal.
Cashiers could even ask for monetary donations at the register, not unlike those in grocery stores around the country.
And why stop there? If some students cannot even afford to buy the most basic of necessities, they probably can’t afford basic school supplies either. So customers at the campus bookstore could offer to donate packs of pencils, binders and journals to struggling students.
Furthermore, at the beginning of each semester, the bookstore could set a designated time to allow customers the option of buying a pack of pencils or a spiral notebook that would be given to students in need. Every little bit helps.
People flock to colleges and universities in order to improve their lives, but these actions are not without their expenses.
There are so many honest, hard-working people on campus who are so determined to earn their degree, but they don’t always have the resources to follow their dream.
No one deserves to spend a day with an empty stomach.
The expansion of the food pantry is a great first step, but we can always do more to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate members of our Eastfield family.