PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County has received a $25,000 grant from the Jefferson Regional Foundation to support the Campus Cupboard South Food Pantry, which serves CCAC South students and families who are experiencing food insecurity. Operating in collaboration with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
(GPCFB), the grant will be used to sustain the food pantry on South Campus, with some of the funds used to renovate the pantry space and purchase refrigerators and freezers to store the food.
The South Campus food pantry, in partnership with GPCFB, served approximately 25 students and a total of 75 family members in each of two monthly distributions last fall following a soft launch in October. The grand opening of the Campus Cupboard South Food Pantry will take place on Wednesday, February 17. College officials anticipate that the number of students served will rise due to the growing need for food assistance in the Mon Valley region.
CCAC South Campus President Charlene Newkirk coordinated the development of the grant proposal in support of her goal to better meet the needs of CCAC South Campus students who are dealing with food insecurity. The grant proposal included the statistic that eight local neighborhoods are designated as “distressed” regarding access to resources, according to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Of the approximately 4,000 CCAC South Campus students, more than 1,100 have an expected family contribution of zero on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and of this group more than 900 are receiving Pell grants to offset the cost of school.
According to Newkirk, “CCAC South Campus serves a substantial number of economically vulnerable students who are often lacking access to groceries and other critical resources. This grant will enable us to serve a greater number of students in need of assistance
“CCAC South’s recognition that food insecurity is one of the barriers that their students face is commendable,”
said Jefferson Regional Foundation President Mary Phan-Gruber. “The Jefferson Regional Foundation is pleased to support the startup of a food pantry on the campus, and we hope that it serves as a model for other campuses, as well.”
Additional details about the grand opening of the Campus Cupboard South Food Pantry will be provided in the coming weeks.