Business department-run programs benefit students

Increased hours for the food pantry highlight the need for student support


Aurora Ruvalcaba

The City College food pantry is open to any student with a valid student I.D. Photo by Aurora Ruvalcaba

Jade Benn, Staff Writer

The City College Business Entrepreneurship Program has extended hours for the City College Emergency Food Pantry, which has increased opportunities for students to access free meals and snacks.

The food pantry opened on Nov. 12 and offers free meals and snacks to keep students nourished while they attend classes. It also has a microwave for heating up frozen items and canned goods.

The pantry is run by interns and donations of lunch or snack items, canned or dry goods, personal hygiene or care products and money donations. Food items are usually bought with the extra money generated by Fantastique, their student-run clothing store.

They have extended their hours to Monday – Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“There are more people going to the food pantry, I would say we should take donations like a dollar,” student Marshawn Butler said. “Even if some people are not hungry, I suggest people should give back. Even if it is just a snack.”

Many students and faculty are still unaware of these business programs held on campus.

“Word of mouth is the way students are hearing about the food pantry,” lab technician Patricia Pugnier said.

Health and exercise science professor, Kathy McGinnis, said that her students have contributed over 1,300 pounds of food before Thanksgiving break. She has run a food donation contest in all of her classes for the last five years.

“I think a combination of financial donations and products that students can eat on the go can be helpful to take care of the hunger of the students,” McGinnis said. “They shouldn’t go to class hungry, it is a bad idea.”

Due to some classes being cut, hours have been changed for the food pantry and Fantastique, which is now located in the B building.

Because of these cuts, City College has had difficulty keeping the entrepreneurship programs running, but as of now they are all open. Still, many on campus are unaware of this resource.

“Everytime I ask who knows about the food pantry, I get two hands out of 50 kids on a regular basis,” McGinnis said. “I have been encouraging students to give food back for five years now.”

“I’ve seen people waiting out the door. They really count on it,” chair of City College’s business department Dr. Leroy Brady said.

The food pantry has helped create awareness for how students can give back while helping to make sure everyone has something to eat while they attend classes or study on campus.

“I went to the food pantry yesterday and they always have good food there, even if you don’t have money,” Butler said. “We should all get involved more … there should be more emails, posters.”

Despite dealing with technical difficulties this semester, McGinnis thinks the business department has done a “fabulous job” with the program.

McGinnis said she will continue the tradition of donating and will do it again for spring semester and hopes to “see this program expand.”

In another effort to combat food insecurity, City College has partnered with the San Diego Food Bank to provide fresh food free to students during Hunger Action Days scheduled through next semester.

The next event will take place Dec. 16 from 1:30-4 p.m. in the AH/BT quad.