State Fair Community College offers several programs in an effort to help its students succeed and recently has launched another — the Caring Cupboard — in an effort to help meet the basic needs of some students.
“We cover a 14-county region and many of our students are first-generation college students who live in rural areas,” Crissina Kemp, coordinator for student success and retention, said. “For many this may be their first time being on their own and sometimes money may be tight and they can’t afford food with their other expenses.
“We saw information in several community college journals and publications about other colleges starting food pantries on (campus) and it was something our navigators had expressed a need for,” she added. “We knew that housing a food pantry on campus wasn’t feasible for a number of technical reasons so we decided to speak to Jack Menges at the Open Door about the possibility of working with them to help serve our students with some of their nutritional needs.”
The college’s website states the mission of the Student Success Center is to work with students to help them define, clarify and achieve their academic, personal and professional goals.
The Student Success Center connects students who have difficulty in their courses with the support and resources they need to succeed.
“We know that students who are not meeting their nutritional guidelines tend to have a difficult time in school,” Kemp said. “Open Door has agreed to provide boxes of food for our students who apply for the service.
“Everything is confidential and all the students need to do is come to the Student Success Center and apply for the program,” she added. “If the student is receiving benefits from the Open Door they are not eligible to receive any benefits through the college.”
The food boxes will be based on the supplies Open Door has available and can be picked up by those who apply on the first Tuesday and third Friday of each month until Dec. 16 for the fall semester.
“We’ve also started a program here called the Caring Closet,” Kemp said. “The faculty and staff and others have donated personal care and hygiene items to us that we in turn will supply to students who request them.
“They can only request items once a month and again are based on the availability of the items,” she added. “We’ve been very grateful for the items that have been donated and we are always happy to receive donations.”
Students who are interested in applying for the food service program should go to the Student success Center in Hopkins to complete and submit a Caring Cupboard request form at least one week prior to the pick up date.
The first distribution is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Students who have questions or concerns about their ability to succeed at SFCC should contact the center at [email protected] or 660-530-5831 or stop by Hopkins 754.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1494.