Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Jefferson Davis Food Pantry and Professional Closet on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in front of the food pantry, located in the Eula Switzer Allied Health Building. The pantry and closet will provide food and other items to students in need, along with professional attire they may need for interviews, academic competitions and other events.
“More and more college campuses are establishing food resources for students in need as a result of studies that indicate that many college students cannot afford to attend school and eat well,” said Dawn Buckley, director of Enrollment Services. “Almost half of all college students worry that food will run out and skip meals or eat less than desired to save food and students are often not able to afford balanced meals.”
A food drive for the Jefferson Davis Campus food pantry will be held Sept. 16-20. Donation boxes will be located in the Cyber Café, Student Services and outside the Food Pantry. Contact Dawn Buckley or Monica Donohue for donation drop-off locations during other times.
The SGA officers are working out hours of operation for the food pantry and professional closet, but students in need of assistance can contact a faculty member, Monica Donohue or Dawn Buckley using the Early Alert system. A food pantry staff member will meet with the student to assess needs and provide any additional resources. Additional resources include bus passes, meal tickets, gas cards or community resources for housing, mental health, and utility support.
Monetary donations can be made to the MGCCC Foundation – JD Early Alert Fund.
“Opening the food pantry and professional closet has been a long-term goal for us,” said Buckley. “We are so happy that we will be able to offer a variety of resources for our students that will help them succeed and put them on a path to reach their educational goals.”