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Spreading the word: Chemeketa’s Food Pantry is here to help

By Nathan Pisano

No student should study hungry.

Chemeketa’s Food Pantry was established to make sure that does not happen.

“It’s natural for us. We are all about serving the students,” Linda Ringo-Reyna, the college’s Multicultural Student Services coordinator, said.

The Food Pantry is run by Chemeketa’s Student Retention and College Life Office.

According to Ringo-Reyna, the pantry was first established in the spring term of 2011 by Chemeketa students with support from the Student Life staff.

The Food Pantry provides a variety of non-perishable food items as well as personal care supplies. Among the essential but non-food items that are available:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Razors
  • Feminine products
  • Chemeketa’s Food Pantry is a free resource for anyone with a Chemeketa I.D.

    Yesica Navarro, the coordinator of the Food Pantry, said, “We don’t ask questions. We aren’t judgmental.

    “We just ask to see the student I.D.”

    A student is allowed to take up to eight items per week.

    Organizers agree that the Food Pantry is a great resource for Chemeketa students, with but one problem: awareness.

    Navarro said, “A lot of students don’t know about the Food Pantry, which makes sense since every year there is a new wave of students coming in.”

    Navarro is currently in the process of establishing new and creative ways to get donations and also to spread the word about the Food Pantry.

    From the beginning, the pantry has been a source of help to many Chemeketa students.

    “In my personal opinion it is very successful,” Ringo-Reyna said. “It is successful because students want it, and they appreciate it.”

    Chemeketa staff members also are supportive of the Food Pantry, which helps supply the items that are available.

    Ariel Careage, a first-term Student Leader, said, “We get a lot of donations from staff, students, and the Foundation office.

    “I’ve really been surprised by Chemeketa because I am in this department. It has changed my outlook on Chemeketa.”

    Chemeketa’s Food Pantry is doing well. But students and staff are encouraged to help it do even better.

    “You can help by spreading the word,” Navarro said.

    The Food Pantry is located in Bldg. 2 near the Student Life window and the Multicultural Center.

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