On August 22, HNL Lab Medicine donated fifteen boxes of back-to-school items for the Northampton Community College (NCC) food pantries, aimed at providing essentials to students as they start the new academic year. The truck was filled with school supplies like notebooks, pencils, pens and post-its, food, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies. The items will be evenly distributed among Bethlehem, Monroe and Fowler’s food pantries. This partnership is dedicated to creating a better future for all students regardless of their circumstances, ensuring no student feels forgotten or unsupported. 

“We are big on community engagement and began looking at schools and organizations in the area that HNL Lab Medicine has partnerships with to give back. Putting these supplies to good use at NCC campuses and locations is a great way to make the largest impact,” said Tiffani Blevins, operational excellence communications specialist at HNL Lab Medicine. 

In addition to the food pantries on the Bethlehem and Monroe Campuses, NCC’s Fowler Family Southside Center location recently started their own new pantry with the help of Kate Karalunas, NCC dental hygiene professor, and her student volunteers. The pantry will serve the southside students who don’t always have the means to get to one of the other NCC campus food pantries. Karalunas says it will create equity among all campuses.  

“I love that HNL Lab Medicine thought of so much, even down to hairbrushes. We take things for granted, like brushing our hair, and not everyone has the essentials. The pantries want to help students get what they need to live comfortably,” said Ellen Scott, Bethlehem food pantry coordinator and nursing professor at NCC. 

Student volunteers helped to divvy up the donations for their respective campus locations. HNL Lab Medicine representatives and Julie Bailey, NCC major gifts officer, talked with the students about the importance of giving back. “Time and effort are just as important as monetary gifts, and what you all are doing is so valuable,” said Bailey. 

“People may not remember what we say, but they’ll remember what we did,” said Blevins. 

If you’re interested in donating to the pantries, please visit https://www.northampton.edu/food-pantries.htm. Stay tuned to the site for more information on the Fowler Family Southside Center pantry.