Thanks to a generous donation from the Harry K Foundation, anti-hunger advocates officially cut the ribbon on the new food pantry at Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus in Georgetown March 19.
The food pantry is made possible thanks to continued financial support from the Harry K Foundation. To date this year, the Harry K Foundation has donated more than $107,000 to Food Bank of Delaware anti-hunger programs, including the school pantry and backpack programs. Currently, the foundation sponsors 32 school pantries, including campus pantries at Wesley College, Delaware State University and now Delaware Tech.
Through the food pantry program, food-insecure Delaware Tech students will be able to access a variety of nutritious emergency food and essential hygiene products. Students will select food based on their needs. Food for the pantry will be provided by the Food Bank of Delaware and schoolwide food drives or community donations.
"We are honored to partner with the Harry K Foundation to provide this critical resource for our students," said Delaware Tech President Mark Brainard. "We have many initiatives in place to help our students succeed academically, and I can't think of anything more important to their ability to achieve their educational and professional goals than to eliminate the challenge of food insecurity."
The National Hunger on Campus survey released last year indicates that based on its survey of almost 3,800 students at 34 community and four-year colleges across 12 states, 22 percent of respondents have the most critical levels of food insecurity, and 13 percent of students at community colleges are homeless.
"College students are an extension of the younger children who receive food from the Harry K pantries located in elementary, middle and high schools," said Harry K Foundation founder Harry Keswani. "Research confirms the important link between good nutrition and the ability of children to concentrate and to learn. For older students, working a job in order to eat is not always an option while pursuing a college education in hopes of ensuring a future without hunger."
"In order to break the cycles of poverty in our community, we must ensure that students are graduating and securing well-paying jobs," said Food Bank of Delaware Programs Director Charlotte McGarry. "In order to do this, our students not only need textbooks, supplies and quality instructors, they need nutritious foods. When you're hungry or worried about paying for food, it's hard to focus and thrive in the classroom. This food pantry ensures that students are not worried about buying food and feeling hungry."