By Lake Tahoe News
Lake Tahoe Community College has set up a pantry of nonperishable foods and hygiene products for students in need.
“It’s meant to address the very real problem of community college students struggling with learning due to hunger. There’s all kinds of evidence that shows that when college students don’t have their basic needs met like food, shelter, stable living environment, child care, they struggle in their studies and are much more prone to fail and drop out,” LTCC spokeswoman Diane Lewis told Lake Tahoe News. “About 73 percent of community college students are nontraditional, meaning that they fit one of these six criteria: they’re part time rather than full, they’re employed full time while in college, they’re financially independent, they have dependents to provide for, they’re a single parent, or they don’t have a high school diploma or a combination of these. That is a high percentage of vulnerability, and insufficient nutrition is often a consequence.”
The college hopes to get a refrigerator so perishable goods could be available as well.
Students may receive two bags of food twice a month.
Criteria to receive the bags include:
· Being a registered LTCC student, either full time or part time.
· Either eligible for the Board of Governors fee waiver, or able to demonstrate financial need through a pay stub or other income verification.
“We aren’t aware that the need is growing – only that hunger and food insecurity are a constant and very real issue on any community college campus, nationwide. We have found that many of our students are unaware of resources available in town for nutrition,” Lewis said. “The food pantry is meant to serve mostly in emergency situations when students need immediate help and don’t know where else to turn for it. In addition to food and supplies, the pantry will also provide information about local resources that students can tap into.”
The pantry will be stocked through a mix of grant money, donations from community partners, and donations from LTCC staff, faculty, and students. To donate, contact Laura Salinas at 530.541.4660, ext. 549 or [email protected]