High percentages of community college students face food insecurity. In 2017, a project led by then Asnuntuck Community College student Tracy Ouellette developed a plan for a food pantry on campus to help address this dire need. Going from a closet into a space that now also houses a wellness center, the Pantry has developed into a valuable resource on the campus in Enfield.

 

The operation of the pantry does not come without a financial cost. Asnuntuck’s Student Government leaders are once again taking the lead in organizing a team and fundraising for the annual Connecticut Foodshare Walk Against Hunger.

 

According to Ryan Russin, an Asnuntuck graduate, who now serves as the AmeriCorps member who runs the day-to-day operation of the pantry, “The ACC Pantry has been a part of the Walk Against Hunger since 2019.”  The walk is scheduled for May 21st at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford. There are many ways the public can support Asnuntuck’s efforts and help the group reach its $3,000 goal. According to Director of Student Activities Sherry Paquette, who oversees the Pantry & Wellness Center, “You can walk on the day of the event in Hartford or walk on your own whenever and wherever you choose. Just sign up to be a team member and then post to your social media pages.”

 

Signing up and/or donating to the team is easy. Just visit https://bit.ly/3xnnhDu.

 

Asnuntuck’s pantry will receive 60 percent of what the team raises, with the remaining dollars going to Foodshare.

 

Russin said the impact of the pandemic resulted in large demand in the Pantry. “We have distributed 35,357 lbs. of food and have seen 9,840 visits since Spring of 2020.” He added, “Spring 2020 is when we had not only moved to our current location but when we changed our means of tracking; we now count how many people come into the pantry and the total weight going out.”