On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, from noon to 1 p.m., the Bruin Campus Cupboard will celebrate its grand opening of the food pantry at South City Campus.
This food pantry, partnered with the Utah Food Bank, will serve students of Salt Lake Community College by providing food and daily living essentials to students in need.
“As a social worker, I am solely supportive of the students in the Social Work Association recognizing this basic need. A hungry school cannot concentrate, making their academic journey much more difficult,” says Enrique Velasquez, advisor for Social Work Association (SWA).
According to Justin Duncan, vice president of the SWA, the idea for the food pantry was suggested by Melina Reger at a SWA meeting in early spring of 2012.
In summer of 2012, the SWA decided to conduct a needs assessment survey among the many campuses of SLCC. The survey determined that about 60 percent of students polled would use a food pantry if there was one available at SLCC.
In June 2013, the construction of a student food pantry was finalized at South City Campus.
Some important factors were taken into consideration when deciding where to locate the food pantry. According to the poll, South City Campus had the greatest need. South City has buildings closer to student transportation, giving students convenience and privacy.
According to Duncan, a vast effort was made by the SWA over the past year to bring the food pantry to SLCC. A trip by members of the SWA was made to Utah Valley University to observe the process of a food pantry operation on a college campus.
The food pantry will store a variety of non-perishable foods and a few items for daily living, such as toothpaste, supplied by the Utah Food Bank.
SWA student volunteers will operate and manage the pantry. In the early stages of being open, representatives from the Utah Food Bank will assist in making a smooth transition. Velasquez will be supervising the management of the pantry.
“Since SLCC is the third-largest community college in the nation, the food bank will definitely help many that are in need of food and daily living essentials,” says Duncan.
The Bruin Campus Cupboard will be located at the South City Campus on the second floor above The Grand Theatre.
The hours of operation at the pantry will be from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The SWA has partnered with the College and University Food Bank Alliance and will have regular meetings through Skype to discuss issues and problem-solve together.
More information is available by contacting Enrique Velasquez through e-mail at Enrique.Velasquez@slcc.edu or by attending an SWA meeting on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Center Senate chambers at Taylorsville-Redwood Campus.