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South Louisiana Community College has officially opened three locations of “The Pantry” in an effort to assist students struggling with food insecurity.
The Pantry is now open at the college’s Abbeville, Lafayette, and Opelousas campuses and contains shelf-stable food and non-food items.
Food insecurity is the limited or uncertain access to sufficient nutritious food. While there are a wide variety of food insecurity rates across studies, some surveys show more than half of college students are food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic is also believed to have worsened the situation among college students, primarily first-generation students and students of color.
In a survey conducted at SLCC in 2021, 52% of participating students noted there was a time when they did not have enough food for themselves while attending SLCC. Of their food supply, 69% of students noted it was inadequate at least 1-2 times each semester, sometimes more. Students overwhelmingly saw the value of having a pantry on campus, with 87% of respondents confirming they would use one if it were on their campus.
In 2017, SLCC created Little Food Pantries from refurbished newspaper bins and placed them at all campus locations. However, funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and ATMOS Energy in 2021 made expansion of The Pantry locations possible, while in-kind contributions from the Do-It-Greener Foundation provided items to combat period poverty among women. The locations expanded to private rooms and large closets, and students are encouraged to complete an anonymous five-question survey for data collection on food insecurity efforts. SLCC plans to expand The Pantry to additional campuses as private funding becomes available.
“SLCC views students through a holistic lens and is working to close gaps that get in the way of student success,” said Vincent June, chancellor of SLCC. “When a student is hungry or worried about feeding their family, they cannot concentrate on succeeding in college. We are incredibly appreciative of our partners for seeing the value in this initiative and providing private funding to expand our operations.”
The Pantry locations will continue to accept shelf-stable food items, as well as non-food items including laundry detergent, toothpaste, paper towels, and more. For more information or to schedule a drop-off, contact studentengagement@solacc.edu.
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South Louisiana Community College is a comprehensive community college that operates campuses in Abbeville, Crowley, Franklin, Lafayette, Morgan City, New Iberia, Opelousas, St. Martinville, and Ville Platte. The college serves more than 17,000 students annually and offers an array of academic programs. Students earn associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates, and industry-based certifications. It is ranked 14th among the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers as determined by Community College Week.

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