Filling a need at DTCC

Jul. 21, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

Miguel de Cervantes once said, “For a man to attain an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach and other inconveniences.”

Sadly, this remains true centuries later, especially for some less fortunate students at Durham Technical Community College.

But the good news, as The Herald-Sun’s April Dudash reported on Saturday, is that DTCC has found some success in supporting its student community with the Campus Harvest Food Pantry.

From toasted oats cereal to Ramen noodles, the pantry provides nonperishable food items and ready-to-eat snacks for students. It opened in January and has served about 250 DTCC students.

Just this summer, so far, the pantry is helping about 50 visitors per week.

“We have students who may not be able to bring food from home or may not have a home to prepare food at,” said Sally Parlier, volunteer coordinator for the pantry.

The pantry provides a nutritional stopgap for students who might qualify for financial aid but don’t quite meet the threshold for food stamps.

It’s tragic that students trying to make something more of their lives through higher education may struggle as they balance paying bills with buying food for themselves, perhaps even for their families. Some don’t even have a roof over their heads.

But it is heartening that they can find solace and assistance from this project at DTCC that started as a day of service event on Martin Luther King Day, with help from contributors such as Panera Bread and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

Even better, the pantry seems to encourage a two-way-street mentality, as some who benefit from the supplies turn around and volunteer their time to help clean the pantry or donate food when they can.

It’s the sort of thing one might wish wasn’t necessary, but it is. We should all be grateful for the time, energy and generosity of spirit that make it possible and help out, if we can.

 

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Want to help out? Send email to Sally Parlier at parliers@durhamtech.edu. The pantry can always use nonperishable items, such as canned meats, soups, beans and rice. They also need Ramen noodles, Easy Mac and granola bars.

The pantry is in the Phillips Building, 310A, on the DTCC main campus. Clients must bring a valid DTCC ID to receive food.

To volunteer at the pantry’s Briggs Avenue garden, visit nccommunitygardens.blogspot.com.