Oklahoma City Community College recently (OCCC) hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the new on-campus student food pantry to help address the growing problem of hunger for OCCC students.
The food pantry was made possible by many generous gifts from corporate and individual donors, including a $5,000 challenge grant from Bank of Oklahoma (BOK).
John Higginbotham, Bank of Oklahoma CEO OKC said, “We commend OCCC for surveying their students to find out hunger was a real-life need. BOK is honored to help fund the food pantry which will make it possible for their students to further their education.â€
Individuals interested in taking part in the BOK challenge grant can visit www.occc.edu/hunger and donate to the food pantry. BOK will match these donations up to $5,000.
In addition to Bank of Oklahoma, OCCC faculty and staff members donated funds to the food pantry during the employee giving campaign held this past spring. The food pantry also received gifts from the Love Meyer Family Foundation and Markus Smith Keller Williams Real Estate Team.
The idea for a student food pantry grew out of a meeting with OCCC President Jerry Steward and a group of faculty members. President Steward asked them what the college could do to improve student success. Many of the faculty members mentioned that hunger was a major barrier for their students.
Food insecurity and hunger are nationwide problems that many college students are facing. A 2016 study from the College and University Food Bank Alliance indicates that one in four community college students arrives on campus hungry.