Fuel Pantry: The Food Pantry for your Brain

Anna Sieg, News Editor

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Whether it’s feeding a family, or just making ends meet, the COD Fuel Pantry provides food for anyone with any valid ID. The Fuel Pantry is a food pantry on campus in the SSC 1217 for any student or staff member to use weekly, no questions asked. Their current hours are posted on their door and change depending on volunteer availability. One of their goals, and the reason for the name, is to provide “brain fuel” to students in need, and help their performance in classes. In the past three months of this school year, the amount of people taking advantage of the Fuel Pantry has already surpassed the numbers from the entire 2018-2019 school year.  As of now, the pantry still cannot meet the needs of everyone on campus, and they are looking forward to continuing to grow and meet those needs.

 

COD Coordinator of Student Life Shannon Hernandez said, “We’re working on ways to make it sustainable… we are in talks with People’s Resource Center in Wheaton, (and) the Northern Illinois Foodbank to see ways that we can partner with them to more easily supply food.” 

Also, this year, the company that runs COD’s cafeteria, Sodexo, has started doing food recovery with the Fuel Pantry, allowing various restaurants around campus to give their leftovers to those in need.

 

The Fuel Pantry’s goal of sustainability is also being accomplished by the community garden on campus, which joins the Fuel Pantry in the “Food Security Initiative” at COD. The Fuel Garden produces organic vegetables for the food pantry and the community. Hernandez explained that “we were able to take the tomato crop and the peppers, and we went over and partnered with culinary, and we made spaghetti sauce and salsa. So it’s not like the students can only enjoy during the growing season.” 

 

On Oct. 11, the Fuel Garden cooked organic soups with vegetables from the garden in the cafeteria to raise money for their program, available to everyone on campus. The Fuel Pantry relies on donations of canned and dried goods, personal care items, cleaning supplies, and paper products. They also accept tax deductible monetary donations. You can donate at the pantry or at the Office of Student Life in the SSC 1217.

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