From the vision of one student who recognized the need almost two years ago, Chattanooga State Community College opened its Tiger Cupboard to students on March 20. With a mission of providing emergency or gap measures for food access in the most convenient, discreet, dignified and easily accessible means possible, this resource is available to students in need, officials said.
Students may access this resource by completing an online application found on the student portal, Tiger Web, and selecting the Community Market. The Tiger Cupboard is located on the second floor of the Student Center.
According to a 2017 report from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, half of all community college students are struggling or have struggled with food insecurity — defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as having limited or uncertain access to food, resulting in hunger.
“Sometimes there are impediments outside the classroom, including not knowing where your next meal is coming from. This food pantry is a testament to the care on the Chattanooga State campus,” stated Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State, during the March 20 Grand Opening of the Tiger Cupboard.
"The Tiger Cupboard will diminish stress and alleviate hindrances associated with short-term food insecurity while supporting educational success. The goal is to build a caring learning community that bridges barriers and empowers students to participate in the transformation of themselves and their world," officials said.
Key committee members responsible for opening the doors to the Tiger Cupboard included the Social Justice Club, Student Government Association, Student Outreach & Support Services, Chattanooga State Foundation, Chattanooga State Community Garden, Nutrition classes, Hospitality Management Program, Marketing, Student Success classes and Tennessee Promise Scholars fulfilling service learning opportunities.
To help support the food pantry on campus, financial contributions may be made online at give.chattanoogastate.edu and choose the Community Market ChattState program fund.
For more information, contact Sandy Rutter, dean of Student Engagement and Support Services, at 423-697-4475 or email Sandy.firstname.lastname@example.org.