Pop-up brings awareness

Alvin Jackson, @ALTheJournalist

Los Medanos College has experienced record high enrollment numbers this fall, and the Food Pantry is prepared to fill what is expected to be a growing need.

Ja’net Kent has been working at the food pantry since last spring and has noticed an increase in foot traffic.

“I have definitely seen more students come by the pantry,” Kent said.

The influx of students may be due both to increased enrollment and to the pantry’s outreach efforts. Increasing visibility on campus and fulfilling the nutritional needs of students have been both goals and uphill climbs.

“There are still many students who do not know about the food pantry,” said John Nguyen, who has been director of the pantry for two years and has also seen a rise in student need.

Many students often walk by the pantry but do not know free food is available to them. To increase student awareness, a Pop-up Pantry was created last fall, and it is held every Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. in the outdoor quad.

“The pantry gives out pre-packaged bags for students during the pop-up,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen added that to get food from the pop-up students will need to fill out a form and show their student ID for proof of enrollment.

“The pop-up is to promote the food pantry and its goal is to make the pantry more accessible to students,” Director of Student Life Teresea Archaga said.

Thankfully, the growth in enrollment has not put a strain their food supply due to support both from the campus and the local community.

“We get a lot of support from campus clubs and donors,” explained Archaga.

Kent also explained that “when more students utilize the pantry, more grant money is given to us.”

Students who could use a helping hand from the food pantry can head to the LMC website www.losmedanos.edu/foodpantry to submit an application form. Students can also submit their form in person at the pop-up or at the regular food pantry, located next to the cafeteria. Pantry hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.