During the recent reopening of the Eagle Pantry, a Social Work Club member serves Army Staff Sergeant, Tad Snyder, a soup lunch.
Staff Photo | Tahj McRae
By Tonya Hammond
Only weeks before Christmas, the Eagle Pantry opened its doors for the first time with only one goal: fulfilling the needs of Northeast Texas Community College students. The pantry recently reopened its doors for the spring semester by offering the campus community lunch at the Wesley Fellowship Building and a tour of the Eagle Pantry.
The pantry is open every third Thursday of each month in the Wesley Fellowship from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. The pantry is available to all NTCC students with their student ID. Students are asked to complete a form showing need.
Carmen Shurtleff, associate faculty to social work said the Social Work Club hosted the luncheon and tour to bring awareness to the food pantry as well as the needs of some of the students on campus.
“We wanted to do the event to get more individuals over so they could tour the food pantry and we could get people familiar with the service and the process of accessing the pantry,” Shurtleff said.
The lunch was sponsored by the NTCC Social Work Club, Wesley Fellowship and the Ag Club.
Shurtleff said they were pleased with the number of people that came out and toured the facility and took part in the lunch.
“I think we are slowly getting the word out, that it is available,” Shurtleff said. “We did have a couple of students access it that day, but overall, I think it was a really good event.”
Students are beginning to learn about the pantry through flyers, informational emails, donation boxes, and advisors. Culinary student, Cory Dodson, expressed his gratitude for the Eagle Pantry.
“Being that I am helping support a house of five people while going to school full-time at the culinary school, I’m working part-time when not I’m not in school, and that only helps so much,” Dodson said. “So as far as this need for it goes, unfortunately, it’s very needed on my part and my families. I am very appreciative of the fact that it’s here and it helps students and students’ families. It’s a tremendous help [and] it’s a humbling experience. I am beyond thankful that some folks here, within the college, had the want and the desire to set this up for people in need.”
Along with food items, the group recently began accepting donations of hygiene products to add to the pantry.
“It was discussed that the students wanted to do a phase two of the food pantry because we are seeing students on campus who do not have access to hygiene products,” Shurtleff said. “We just wanted to add that as a service for students just in case they couldn’t afford to go buy shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.”
The club members are working on ways to spread the word about the Eagle Pantry to their fellow students, including those who live in the dorms. Shurtleff said the club has received a lot of interest and concern for students in need.
“There has been a very positive response from the college community,” Shurtleff said. “The social work students would really appreciate seeing the faculty and staff coming out to see the food pantry because they have worked very hard and they want everybody to see the project and how it can benefit their students.”
If anyone would like to donate any non-perishable products to the pantry, boxes are located in buildings throughout the campus. Some items specifically needed include flour, sugar, peanut butter, cereal, Hamburger Helper, canned meats, tuna packs, crackers, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce and miscellaneous snacks for dorm students. Needed hygiene products include shampoo, conditioner, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant and feminine products.
The next date to access the pantry is Mar. 21. However, emergency needs can be met by contacting Shurtleff at firstname.lastname@example.org.