Browse By

Chemeketa Food Pantry offers help to those in need

Some of the many available items offered through the Chemeketa Food Pantry. The Chemeketa Food Pantry also offers fresh garden items and personal care items to those in need. Photo by Saul Rodriguez

Some of the many available items offered through the Chemeketa Food Pantry. The Chemeketa Food Pantry also offers fresh garden items and personal care items to those in need.   Photo by Saul Rodriguez

By: Elizabeth Ming

Food can be a hard thing to come by for many members of the Chemeketa community. Many find that it can be hard to provide for themselves and their families while also attending classes. But there is a service on campus that can help provide relief to those experiencing difficult times.

Started four years ago as a community project, the Chemeketa Food Pantry has helped many students and staff by providing them with necessities. It offers a variety of items, including canned and boxed food items, fresh fruits and vegetables, household cleaners, personal care items, and even pet food. Students and Chemeketa employees can receive up to eight items of their choosing per visit. The Food Pantry can also offer those who are not students up to four items.

“It helps alleviate one of those barriers students might encounter,” Grecia Garcia Perez, a student service specialist, said. “The mission of the Food Pantry is having students worry less about being hungry and more on their studies.” Because of this, the Food Pantry can be accessed as many times as needed.

Garcia Perez also emphasized the importance of healthy meals. Although the Food Pantry offers a few less healthy options, such as instant ramen, they pride themselves on being able to offer fresh food harvested by the Chemeketa Horticultural Program. The program provides approximately 300 pounds of vegetables each week.

Food is also acquired through donations from the community. Because resources are used up quickly, the Food Pantry graciously accepts donations of unopened, nonperishable, and unexpired food items, as well as monetary donations that are used to purchase items for the service. Among the most frequently needed items are canned and instant foods, drinks, and toiletries such as soap, toilet paper and diapers.

To take advantage of this service, students just need to show their school ID and fill out a shopping list and confidential survey. The Food Pantry is open Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bldg. 2, Room 176. For more information, contact Student Retention and College Life at 503.399.5116, email collegelife@chemeketa.edu, or visit collegelife.chemeketa.edu.