ACTC opens Pathfinder Food Pantry
Sept. 9, 2019
Ashland Community and Technical College is taking steps to address a real need within
its student population – hunger.
Thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and a match from the Community & Technical College Foundation of Ashland, Inc., ACTC will open its Pathfinder Food Pantry on the College Drive Campus on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
“We do have some hunger issues at times with students,” said Steve Woodburn, dean of student success and enrollment services. “We are just trying to find things to help our students, things to help them achieve their academic goals. If you’ve ever tried to study while you’re hungry, that’s hard to do.”
Chrisha Spears, ACTC’s GED+ coordinator and student affairs specialist, has helped get the pantry up and running by meeting with Facing Hunger Foodbank in Huntington and other local food pantries, as well as getting the food handler certification that is required for any location to become a registered food pantry.
With the initial money donated from KCTCS and the foundation, Spears said food and hygiene items were purchased to get the pantry started. Donations were also made by Speedway and Aetna Inc., as well as students, faculty and staff.
The shelving and refrigeration were repurposed from the college.
“Students must present a student ID or current schedule in order to participate,” Spears said, adding that other than filling out an initial intake form, there are no other requirements to qualify for services. “We are not meant to take the place of other food pantries. We are just here to supplement them and make sure students have some stuff on the evenings and weekends.”
To start out, the pantry will allow students to fill a college-provided bag once a month with items from the pantry. Other grab-and-go lunch items will be available on an as-needed basis. Pantry times will be 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays.
As the need for pantry services is assessed, the number of visits allowed may increase or decrease, Spears said.
A $5,000 Foundation for the Tri-State grant will also go toward buying equipment for an expansion of the pantry on ACTC’s other two campuses.
For more information on the Pathfinder Food Pantry or how to donate items, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.