Asnuntuck Community College has opened a food pantry on its campus to help support students who are experiencing food insecurity. Students will be holding an event later this month to raise funds for the Asnuntuck Pantry. The pantry has received support recently from the United Way and UnitedHealth Group. They have also established a partnership with FoodShare to provide access to free and inexpensively priced food to The Asnuntuck Pantry. Asnuntuck is the first community college in Connecticut to be a member of Foodshare.
Asnuntuck’s Director of Student Activities Sherry Paquette worked with Women’s Leadership Institute graduate Tracy Ouelette on to make this service project a reality. This extensive process included creating an operational report to submit to FoodShare; undergoing an inspection; safety-training and obtaining a letter from the health inspector before they could be accepted as a member of Foodshare.
Paquette said that through support from Beatrice Maslowski, Community Network Builder at Foodshare, and the guidance of Vinh Vuong, Network Capacity Coordinator, the Asnuntuck Pantry now has the capacity to serve all of the students who need to utilize it.
Working through the United Way, representatives from UnitedHealth Group recently visited Asnuntuck and filled personal toiletry bags on campus for students, who visit the pantry. The employees also included letters of support and inspirational quotes with each of the bags.
Results from a survey given in late 2016 on campus, demonstrated that 48 percent of students surveyed said they had times that they did not have enough to eat. Since the pantry opened its doors in March, more than 280 students have received food at the pantry.
Asnuntuck’s Student Government Association is sponsoring an upcoming fundraiser for the pantry. On Thursday, October 26th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, the public is invited to attend a trunk or treat area (children will stop at each festively decorated car trunk, for a treat) near ACC’s front lawn. There will also be costumed characters for the children to meet. The cost of admission is a non-perishable item for The Asnuntuck Pantry.