BHC Emergency Food Pantry: how you can help

BHC staff members hold a food drive donation box in the pantryIt’s the time of the year for treats and feasts, but some are only able to focus on finding their next meal.

Fortunately, the BHC Emergency Food Pantry means students do not have to stress about food when they find themselves in need.

“It’s hard to concentrate on your classes when you’re hungry or worried about how you’ll provide for your family,” said BHC counselor Wendy Bock.

BHC students who benefit from food assistance are far from alone: many university and community college students face hunger while they try to focus on earning a degree.

A survey released earlier this year found that 42 percent of community college students surveyed had limited or uncertain access to adequate food in the last month.

Both BHC campuses have pantries with non-perishable food and toiletries. Donations from BHC employees and students, including donation drives, are how the pantries stay stocked.

The Quad-Cities Campus Student Government Association (SGA) is holding a donation drive for the food pantry through Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

Bock said the pantry often needs replenished with convenience foods, “anything that would be easy for someone who is living in their car or has limited access to a kitchen and appliances.”

That’s why protein bars and pre-packaged snacks are some of the wish list items. See the end of this post for a full donation drive wish list.

Items can be dropped off in:

  • Building 1 in the lower lobby
  • Building 2 in the second floor lobby
  • Building 4 on the second floor in the Hawk’s Nest
  • Health Sciences Center in the second floor lobby

At the Quad-Cities Campus, students visit the third floor of Building 1 (above the Advising Center) to get help. Throughout the year donations can be dropped off there as well.

Those in need can reach out to counseling@bhc.edu or 309-796-5198 to get connected.

BHC Emergency Food Pantry recipients also receive information about their local food pantry with perishable foods and a list of resources for other needs they may have, such as clothing, shelter and utilities help.

Bock said they will assist with any possible applications if needed.

At East Campus, students are able to get help by visiting Advising in Building A, Room 246 or by calling 309-854-1709.

The East Campus SGA holds events that help the pantry, including Aggie Idol where the price of student admission is donating an item to the pantry. Donations can also be left with Advising staff members throughout the year, too.

Vashti Berry, coordinator of orientation and student life, said a BHC East Foundation fund can be accessed to help students using the food pantry with requests for things like baby diapers and cold storage items.

Bock said the most rewarding part of being involved with the BHC Emergency Food Pantry is seeing the relief on students’ faces from “knowing that at least for the next couple of days they don’t need to worry about being hungry and that the people at BHC care about them.”

QC SGA Food Pantry Donation Drive Wish List

Food:

  • Protein and granola bars
  • Pop Tarts
  • Pre-packaged snacks, fruit cups, and Jell-O cups
  • Complete meals (microwavable, no refrigeration needed)
  • Spaghetti – noodles and jars of sauce
  • Mac and cheese
  • Canned spaghetti and ravioli
  • Cookies in a bag (just add water)
  • Pancake mix
  • Any grab-and-go type food items (no refrigeration needed)

Toiletries:

  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Men’s deodorant