Food pantry feeds those in need

After a bit of turbulence, this year’s food pantry program at City College is back in action, thanks especially to a successful food drive that concluded Oct. 14 and was hosted by the athletic department.

According to Kathy McGinnis, dean of health, exercise science and athletics, the food drive was able to collect 2167 pounds of food — an amount that food pantry coordinators expect should last well into next year.

Aside from the athletic department, contributors include Students in Free Enterprise, the college bookstore, and Associated Students.

The food pantry, which was established in the spring of 2008, came about after several City College faculty members became increasingly aware of a growing number of hungry students. After numerous surveys and examinations were conducted, an initiative was developed, passed, and eventually manifested into the food pantry program that still exists today.

According to Cherie Bromley-Taylor, CALWORKS administrative technician and official administrator of the food pantry program, the food pantry has distributed roughly 1,000 lunches to 850 students since being established, with around 300 lunches being distributed this semester alone.

Dotti Cordell, director of student health services and one of the founding creators of the program, has nothing but gratitude for the participants and contributors who keep the program alive, as well as satisfaction for how the program has been able to evolve since its induction.

“What’s really nice is the kind of people that we have at City, that (the food pantry) has been going on now for a couple years,” Cordell said. “Students can use it when they have to.”

Cordell also commented on the steadfast commitment of Bromley-Taylor, who was able to maintain control when the going got rough.

“There were different kinds of leaves and absences…turnover in administration, lack of people to help [prepare] the lunches,” Cordell said. “Cherie has turned all that around.”

Bromley-Taylor has been highly revered by fellow participants as the heart and soul of the project, dedicating an enormous amount of energy and her own resources to the program.  According to sources close to the project, things began to slow after Bromley-Taylor’s direct involvement was limited as she recovered from knee surgery for several months, and the number of distributors and active coordinators dropped considerably.

Jackie Garcia, one of the distributors, was a big part in maintaining operations in the time following Bromley-Taylor’s absence.

According to Garcia, Bromley-Taylor has plans to expand the services they offer, including a service which would allow students to bring home bundles of groceries on top of the emergency kits currently being offered.
Those who wish to donate, or students seeking an emergency food kit or other services can visit the CALWORKS office in room L-121 for more details.