With the fall semester winding down and the holiday season approaching, Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Food Pantry has seen a growing number of students stop by to receive food items ranging from everyday necessities to breakfast foods.
“The word has gotten out and moving forward we are hoping for growth,” Madison Hopper, Special Populations assistant said. “There are no income requirements and no current GNTC student will be turned away.”
The Food Pantry at GNTC is maintained by the Special Populations staff who see about 20-25 students per week drop by on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m.
The pantry is located in the J Building on the Floyd County Campus and is available to all currently enrolled GNTC students, Ms. Hopper said. Eventually as the program grows, the Special Populations department would like to see the pantry expand to other GNTC campuses.
The idea was brought to GNTC by Sonya Briscoe, director of Special Populations. Ms. Briscoe saw other colleges with similar programs and decided to start a pantry on the Floyd County Campus. A partnership with Action Ministries Northwest and the GNTC Foundation keeps the pantry up and running, Michelle Beatson, Foundation administrator at GNTC said.
“We want to make sure our students are taken care of both inside and outside of the classroom,” Ms. Beatson said. “We are proud of the hard work the Special Populations department does in maintaining the pantry and to Sonya Briscoe for bringing the program to the college.”
According to Ms. Hopper, the Special Populations department is working on a clothes closet in the J Building which will complement the pantry. Students will be able to borrow clothes for interviews or just everyday clothing.
On top of providing clothing and food for students, Special Populations has been working to bring other resources to GNTC’s six other campuses through various programs. A recent program, Free Diaper Day, was sponsored by the department and made Amerigroup resources available to GNTC staff, students and faculty, as well as the general public.
“We try to help students be as successful as possible,” Ms. Hopper said.
During the spring semester, Special Populations will continue to bring resources to GNTC students through different programs and workshops for Spanish speakers, single parents, as well as any GNTC student who wishes to participate. The department will also offer career shadowing and a budget workshop at a to-be-determined date. For more information about the Special Populations department, check out their blog at https://gntcspecialpops.wordpress.com