The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce Campus has opened a food pantry to serve students in need. The Boyce Campus Food Cupboard is affiliated with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) and is the second permanent food pantry to be established at CCAC, following the opening of the South Campus Cupboard Food Pantry in early 2016. The Boyce Campus pantry is open once a month to any student who is in need of food assistance; students who are in immediate need may also receive a supply of emergency food when the pantry is not open.
The campus held temporary “pop-up” food pantries over the spring and early summer that were well received. Approximately 50 students were served when the permanent food pantry opened in August, with a similar number returning in September and October. Many of the students reported that they were also feeding family members with food from the pantry, according to Dr. Tomi Waters, associate dean of Academic Affairs. The pantry is well stocked with nonperishable canned and boxed foods and also offers produce and frozen meat at times, depending on deliveries from the GPCFB. Some of the food is also transported to CCAC’s Braddock Hills Center.
“We’re hoping to have produce every month; we’re encouraging healthy foods,” said Waters. “There is a growing need in the community, and some of our economically vulnerable students often lack the resources to acquire enough nutritious food.”
Waters wrote and submitted a grant to the Standard Charitable Foundation, which provided $4,000 for the pantry. The college also received a $500 check from the Churchill-Wilkins Rotary and a supply of canned goods from the Monroeville Rotary. Boyce Student Life purchased a freezer to store meat and other frozen foods, and student volunteers help to stock the shelves.
The Boyce Campus Food Cupboard is open the second Thursday of each month from 12 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in a private space behind the Registration office on the fifth floor. The space is close to a door so students can exit the building directly after shopping. Students may select the items they want and fill a box or bag with no strict limits on the amount, within reason. There are no income guidelines to be eligible; however, students are asked to register for the service. Yvonne Burns, dean of Student Development, oversees the staff and the daily operation of the pantry. The staff is hoping to expand to twice a month as the need grows.
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