Food pantry helps feed college students

Three Rivers Community College (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)– Students at Three Rivers Community College have more than the cafeteria to satisfy their hunger pains.

In fact, for those who might not even have enough to eat at home, they may no longer have to choose between paying for gas to get to school or buying groceries.

In 2012, the college founded The Full Plate Food Pantry, which has been a resource for food-insecure members of the school.

“I had to quit my higher paying job to come back to school so I needed the help. It was nice to know I had it,” said Ben Crowley.

He and Raven Dillon used the pantry when they first started at Three Rivers a few years ago. It wasn’t the easiest transition at first.

“I didn’t know if I had like a solid meal at home,” said Dillon. “I was able to come here and just get something to eat which was really nice.”

Now through their positions in student government they are giving back. This year they increased the donation to the food pantry.

three rivers food pantry 5 Food pantry helps feed college students
(WTNH/Tina Detelj)

 

“You can’t get a good education if you can’t focus if you’re hungry,” said Dillon.

“Current research shows that 2/3 of community college students at some point going through college are food insecure,” said English Professor Janet Hagen.

She started the pantry in a conference room closet back in 2012. Last month it moved into a permanent space in Room D111 where it has more visibility and can have set hours.

“It has increased students coming into the pantry,” said Hagen.

three rivers food pantry 2 Food pantry helps feed college students
(WTNH/ Tina Detelj)

They’ve also been able to add toiletries, more baby food, and a snack table. About 50 students a month come there twice a week to get food for their families.

Stocked by students and staff the pantry also provided 30 Thanksgiving dinners last fall.

“It’s definitely something I appreciate about this school is that they really research a lot of different avenues of taking care of and helping us get to class and stay in class,” said Crowley.

While there is a limit of two times per week for the food pantry students can come anytime they’re on campus and grab a snack there which can include a macaroni and cheese dinner for their kids. The pantry is open during the fall and spring semesters.

 

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