Food Pantry a resource for all at ARC


American River College’s food pantry opened up on Feb. 21. (Photo by Tracy Holmes)

Tracy Holmes

The Beaver Food Pantry hosted its first food give away as an up and running food bank on campus Feb. 21.

Juan Blanco, who took over as chair of the Hunger Resource Committee, from Manuel Alejandro Perez, former Dean of Student Services Equity, Programs, and Pathways earlier this year, said the pantry has been in the works for a long time

“The efforts to institutionalize a food pantry has been in conversation for many years,” Blanco said.

The pantry is in conjunction with the Sacramento County Food Bank and Family Services. It was hosted outside the gymnasium and in front of the ticket window. The BFP currently hosts a monthly pop-up distribution for produce and bread for students in need.

The BFP gives away several food items to students and staff who are in need of food, including fruits, veggies and some dry snacks. They also include a small pamphlet with extra resources from around the college and community, as well as a bag for your next trip to the pantry.

There are other places with food resources on campus.

“The Veterans Center has their own pantry, athletics center has their own little pantry, the Nosh Nook in Davies Hall, so we didn’t want to take away [from those programs],” Blanco said.

With other food sources, the Hunger Resource Committee wants to make a fully functioning food pantry.

“As a committee we know the importance and the value of those different entities having their own food pantry,” Blanco said. “We didn’t want to take away from that, but we did want to institutionalize a food pantry for all students.”  

The process of picking up food is very simple and quick. There is a short form that students only need to fill out once.

There are a lot of student helpers as well as staff that keep things running and moving smoothly.

“I want to see about doing this every other week,” said Rod Agbunag, a staff worker at the  HUB.

Student workers and staff pass out food for the pantry. Quinn Ho had a table setup with vegetables and fruits for the BFP.

“I want to be an event coordinator … with our department, [the] Student Center for Leadership, we have a lot of student helpers and we coordinate with the HUB,” said Ho, a Communications Studies major, who was at a table for the monthly pop-up pantry.

The Hunger Resource Committee and Sacramento County Food Bank is collecting data to show the county that there is a need here at ARC to obtain food from the county and also get more help for the students.

“We had 155 students [come to the pop-up pantry] and 95 [last time],”Blanco said.