Northampton Community College’s H.O.P.E. Food Pantry will be offering curbside pickup on Monday, Aug. 10 at the Bethlehem campus from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prepared bags of non-perishable groceries will be available through contactless drive-thru or walk-up service. The only requirement to receive a bag is an NCC student ID. No registration is required, but limited quantities are available. Bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Volunteers and patrons are required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Patrons are directed to enter through the Oakland Avenue entrance, take the first left toward the shipping and receiving area and follow signs to food distribution (next to the Lanta bus stop and Penn Hall).
NCC’s food pantries will be offering weekly distribution of prepared grocery bags throughout the fall semester at the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses, as long as the school remains open. A schedule of curbside pickup times will be announced in September. Students will be notified of the schedule via email.
While H.O.P.E. Pantry would prefer to allow choices for students, curbside pickup of prepared bags is the safest way to continue their operation during the coronavirus pandemic, explained a H.O.P.E. Pantry volunteer in an email to the NCC campus community.
The H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Peers Excel) Food Pantry was established in 2016 by members of the Nursing Student Organization at NCC and has provided food for more than 3000 students.
“Pursuing a college education should not compete with the right to have consistent access to adequate and nutritious food,” said Doctor of Education Andrea Corrado, H.O.P.E. Pantry faculty advisor and associate professor of nursing at NCC.
Food insecurity affects 44% of students at two-year institutions and 38% at four-year institutions, according to The Hope Center, an organization that advocates for the basic needs of college students.
NCC is one of more than 700 colleges in the U.S. to have a food pantry registered with the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA). Schools registered with CUFBA range from community colleges to Ivy League universities.
“Food insecurity cuts across all demographic statuses, enrollment levels and geographic locations,” said Giovanni Garcia, H.O.P.E. Pantry student coordinator and student of nursing at NCC. “Stressors of food insecurity affect student success and, in the long term, may impact learning, grades, graduation and time to degree.”
The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the increasing number of students who are struggling with food insecurity, Garcia explained.
“There can be a stigma associated with using a food pantry and we want students to know we’re here to support them,” Corrado said. “At NCC, we are committed to our student’s success. We offer a ‘hand up’, not a handout to those who may need assistance.”
The pantry is seeking donations of the following items: crackers, cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, peanut butter, jelly, microwavable meals, canned items (fruit, soup, beans, chicken, fish), powdered milk and toiletry items (deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, feminine products). The drop-off location is outside the nursing lab, Room 113 in Penn Hall at NCC’s main campus.
H.O.P.E. Pantry is a volunteer-based organization. To learn more about volunteering, visit this link: https://www.northampton.edu/hope-food-pantry/volunteer-at-hope-food-pantry.htm
To learn more about how food insecurity affects college students, H.O.P.E. Pantry volunteers recommend the following resources: