Expand Food for Thought Pantry to three campus locations which will include fresh, nutrient-rich food options by adding storage and refrigeration removing barriers to academic success such as food insecurity and economic instability.
With Impact 100 funds Gateway Community & Technical College will:
Expand the Food for Thought Pantry. The Food for Thought Pantry, created in 2016 by a student who saw her classmates facing hunger, aids students by easing food insecurity, which can threaten their matriculation. In four years, it has grown to provide nonperishable food and toiletry items to 400 students and their kids every year, and it now has an advisory board for strategic planning. The Pantry provides nutritious food that is easily accessible, connects students to support services, and offers a pathway from crisis to stability. Gateway seeks Impact 100 funds to expand this Pantry toward the goals of:
- Increasing locations from just one campus to all three
- Adding storage and refrigeration to offer fresh, nutrient-rich food options
- Increase staffing to improve student access
This project is unique as it removes barriers to academic success by meeting students’ essential, tangible need for food.
The Pantry and related support services have already shown that they helped increase student retention by 25% last year, and they are linked to higher GPAs. By expanding the Pantry locations and healthy food access, student retention and overall student health can improve. The pantry anticipates receiving $3,000 annually in food donations and another $4,000 from private support.