In 2016, after learning many of their peers were going hungry on a regular basis, members of the Nursing Student Organization (NSO) at Northampton Community College worked to establish the H.O.P.E (Helping Our Peers Excel) Pantry on the Bethlehem campus and the C.A.R.E (Compassionate Aid and Resources for Everyone) Pantry on Monroe campus.
For those struggling with food insecurity, canned food provides a balanced meal with proteins, vegetables, and fruit. Canned foods are convenient and have a long shelf life. They also help provide needed nutrients to meet USDA Dietary Guidelines. There are a lot of myths and misnomers regarding the benefits canned foods bring to the table. One of these “food myths” concerns nutrition. Many people believe that canned vegetables in particular offer limited nutrition. This is not true. In fact, the nutritional value of canned food is easily comparable to that of both the fresh and frozen varieties of the same foods. Research shows that canned foods offer roughly the same nutrients while coming in at a lower cost than other types of preserved foods. Nonperishable canned foods can be the difference between a bare cabinet and a balanced meal on the dinner table.
Northampton Community College Food Pantries have served over 3500 students and their families since opening in 2016. The College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), an organization formed to address hunger and food insecurity among college students, estimates that nationally 30% of all college students are food insecure. Fifty-six percent of these students are working and 75% receive some sort of financial aid.
Pursuing a college education should not compete with the right to have consistent access to adequate and nutritious food. Over 700 schools around the country, from community colleges to Ivy league universities, host food pantries on campus.
In response to COVID-19 and Pennsylvania Department of Health prevention practices, NCC food pantries are currently distributing prepared bags of non-perishable groceries by appointment only. To receive food, students should contact the pantries via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Bethlehem Campus, or email@example.com for Monroe Campus. A food pantry representative will respond with further instruction. While we prefer our pantries to allow choices for students, this is currently the safest way to continue operation of NCC Food Pantries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canned food donations are always welcome at our pantries!
Most needed canned items include meat such as tuna and chicken, soup, vegetables, beans, and fruit. Bethlehem Campus donations can be dropped off in the grocery carts in Penn Hall and Monroe Campus donations can be dropped off in the entrance to Kapp Hall.