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College food pantry works to ensure students and their families have enough to eat

Posted at 6:55 AM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 08:55:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY — At a time when family and friends gather together over food to celebrate the holidays, a special food pantry is working to ensure college students know where their next meal is coming from.

Salt Lake Community College has a network of pantries at its four locations and will soon be adding a fifth when the Herriman campus opens.

Their goal is to make it easy for students from any and every background to find a meal or a snack and even the ability to take food home to their families.

“To be able to help students study," explained Tim Davis, who runs the Thayne Center at SLCC. "Be able to focus and not worry about; where’s my next meal going to come from?”

Davis knows times are tough outside campus life because his team is responsible for stocking shelves inside the pantries.

“We were just talking with our team about the difference in the price of a carton of eggs from when we started our budget and started planning the supplement to where things are now," he explained. "It’s a dramatic difference!”

SLCC relies heavily on partnerships with the Utah Food Bank as well as grocery stores like Smith's. They also count on student volunteers to help keep the pantries running.

“Food should not be a worry for anyone," said student volunteer Bryant Jasper. "We have more than enough food to feed everyone, so much food is wasted in our society.”

The pantries strive to provide food for students from every background and culture as well as vegan and vegetarian options.

“[We] see a lot of joy, a lot of smiles on people's faces when they experience the kindness that we’re able to give here,” Jasper said.

Davis said helping students with physical needs is just one way to make a meaningful difference in the community.

“So those are students who want to make a difference in their families and in our community," he said. "So knowing that we’re doing one small part to be able to help those students achieve those goals and make a difference is so meaningful.”