MGCCC offers food pantry for students
For many college students, food insecurity is just a few missed paychecks away.
Across the country, students are struggling to make ends meet, but one local college is trying to help fill the gap. MGCCC Instructor Carin Platt said, “In response to the need of students on college campuses nationwide, Gautier being no different than any place else, we have started a food pantry for our students and for anyone with an ‘m’ number that needs some help at the end of the month when money doesn’t just go as far as it should.”
For the past year and a half, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has had a food pantry where students can pick up food or donate it. Student worker Jake Franks said, “College students go without their proper nutrients because most of them live on ramen. To be able to provide that for people who can’t really afford anything but ramen so they can eat healthy is just a really good thing.”
Many students at MGCCC work full time and have families, making the need for extra help even more prevalent. “Many of our students are parents; they are 26 or 27 years old. They are taking care of their homes, their children. They are working, they are going to school, and sometimes taking less hours at work because they have to go to school. So, food insecurity on college campuses is a nationwide problem. It’s figured around 46-48 percent will have food insecurity within the four years they are with us.”
The food pantry offers more than just things to eat. They have toiletries, home goods, and even items for babies. “I’ve never felt like anyone has taken advantage of the pantry. They come in and say ‘am I taking too much’ or they come back and brings things back. It’s a give, give thing.”