SCC food pantry program working to feed students in need


Items available at Southeastern Community College's student food pantry on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.

WEST BURLINGTON — Southeastern Community College recently opened a food pantry for students at its West Burlington and Keokuk campuses in hopes of giving students in need one less thing to worry about as they pursue their education. 

The pantry, called the “Blackhawk Open Cupboard,” is set up in the student activity room and has canned and other non-perishable foods, utensils, bottled water and sanitary products. All SCC students are welcome to use to pantry. 

The pantry is open on Mondays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. 

Those in need that cannot visit the pantry during regular hours are asked to contact Douglas Patrick, administrative assistant to vice president for student services at SCC and the pantry’s founder and lead organizer, to schedule a time beyond those hours to visit the pantry.   

Patrick told The Hawk Eye that the pantry started out as a “sharing shelf” that was located at the Welcome Center, which allowed people to leave items for anyone that needed them.   

Items available at Southeastern Community College's student food pantry on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.

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“The longer I would work here, the more I’d notice students taking from the shelf, which signaled to me that there is a need for more than just a shelf,” Patrick said.   

Patrick prepare to launch the pantry during the 2012-22 school year and finally it Aug.15. 

As of Sept. 9, the pantry had served 43 students, according to Patrick. 

Currently, the pantry does not have any financial backing. All items are donated by students, staff and local businesses. 

Panera Bread, Mepo Foods, Homestead 1839 and F&M Bank are among the local organizations that have been supporting the pantry.      

Items available at Southeastern Community College's student food pantry on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.

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“Food pantries everywhere right now are struggling getting products or funds,” Patrick said. 

Besides Patrick, a small group of volunteers are helping to run the pantry, with duties including keeping track of how patrons visit the pantry, if they are dorm students, if they live in town, and keeping track of the goods in the pantry. 



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