Selena Castillo was feeling the pinch in her finances when she happened to come across the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Verde Valley campus branch of the Yavapai College student food pantry. Requesting assistance on the spot, she became the second student to benefit from the pantry on opening day.
“Anything to help, especially at the end of the month,” said Selena, a general education student who is also pursuing a personal training certificate at the YC Verde Valley campus. Selena took home two shopping bags full of bread, beans, pasta and cereal, as well as a grocery gift card for purchasing fresh food like milk and produce.
The food bags provided to cash-strapped students also include information about other places to seek help. “If you have a greater need than we can provide here, you can go to these other resources,” said I AM YC Club member Alex Daniels.
The need for food among YC students of all ages prompted the I AM YC Club to open a food pantry on the Prescott campus in late 2017. The club’s fund-raising activities and successful food-collection network across the college district made it possible to expand to the Verde Valley campus. The club currently uses an existing inter-campus courier system to fulfill requests for emergency food from Verde Valley students.
To date, the I AM YC Club and its volunteers have provided more than 32,000 meals to students and their families. “If students come to class hungry, or go home hungry, their best work can’t be done,” said Dr. Ron Liss, YC vice president of instruction and student development, during the pantry opening.
In her remarks just before the ribbon cutting outside a campus storage space in Building I, I AM YC Club President Madeleine Cherry said, “We are dedicated to helping students and are fighting against food insecurity every day. Now we can provide much more change and support here in the Verde Valley.”
Community members are welcome to make food and monetary donations to the YC pantry by visiting the YC Verde campus in person, 601 Black Hills Drive, Clarkdale, or online: www.yc.edu/food.
Students suffering from food insecurity can access emergency food supplies either by visiting the Answer Center in Building I at the Verde Valley campus, or by applying online here: www.yc.edu/foodpantry.
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