There was a sea of blue “Commodores Care” T-shirts as Lorain County Community College students, faculty and staff descended on College Center, carrying bags of food donations and digging into their wallets to support the initiative to create a “Hunger Free LCCC.”
More than 250 people pledged their support and supplied donations of food and money during LCCC’s Commodores Care Day on Thursday, November 2.
“I am thrilled to see all the food that everyone has donated as we all work together to eliminate hunger on our campus,” LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., said to the crowd. “I hope this is the beginning of a ripple that spreads to a hunger free Lorain County.”
According to information from Map the Meal Gap, more than 40,000 people in Lorain County experience hunger and food insecurity each year – a number that includes many LCCC students and their families. LCCC’s on-campus food pantry, Commodore Cupboard, serves students in need of food and the Hunger Free LCCC campaign seeks to support and expand the pantry’s services. Ballinger delivered a challenge to campus community to donate 10 food items, $10 or volunteer their time in the food pantry. The campus community responded to the call in full force.
During the Commodores Care Day event, the LCCC campus donated more than:
– 3,000 pounds of food to Commodore Cupboard, and
– $3,700 to benefit Commodore Cupboard
– And an additional 28 people volunteered their time to help manage and staff the Commodore Cupboard
In the effort to create a hunger free campus, the college partnered with Chicks Against Hunger, a grassroots organization based in Elyria that hosts food drives and works with food pantries throughout Lorain County. In support of the partnership, Chicks Against Hunger donated more than 450 pounds of food to the Commodore Cupboard.
“This is a great beginning for us to further our initiative for a hunger free Lorain County,” said Chicks Against Hunger co-founder Kim McDonald.
Also joining in the cause is LCCC’s Student Senate, who hosted a food drive competition among offices on campus.
“Our student leaders take the problem of hunger to heart and they are leading the efforts here on campus to help erase hunger,” Ballinger said.
Addressing student hunger is just the start of the college’s plan to create a more holistic approach to serving college students in poverty. To help better understand students’ needs, LCCC launched a student survey to poll students on what challenges they face related to hunger and poverty. The results of the survey will directly shape the college’s support services available to students.
Ballinger encouraged the campus community to continue to donate to food pantries, including Commodore Cupboard and other local food banks.
“Our work to erase hunger is just beginning,” Ballinger said. “Let’s continue to fight hunger on our campus and across Lorain County.”
For more information about LCCC’s on-campus food pantry, visit http://www.lorainccc.edu/Cupboard.