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Red Rocks Community College organizes food pantry to help students

Red Rocks Community College organizes food pantry to help students
Red Rocks Community College organizes food pantry to help students 02:10

Red Rocks Community College organized a food pantry for students they serve after learning that hundreds need help making ends meet. The pantry is not need-based. 


The community college in Lakewood said the need for a food pantry jumped after the pandemic. The school went from 10-15 regulars using the food services to more than 400 students taking advantage of the pantry. 

About half of all Colorado Community College students enrolled last year say they experienced trouble finding housing and more than a third of students were in need of food. 

"It provides food for me when I need it, sometimes," said RRCC student Sophie Michils. "Snacks... sometimes I'm here and hungry and I come and get a snack, a little bar or something. It's very beneficial."    


Red Rocks Community College said they want to reduce the shame that might come with using a food pantry. 

"We're really also trying to combine this with holistic student wellness. We're trying to also have community resources we can offer here so when we do see students when we do get face-to-face, that's the great thing about student life, we get face-to-face interaction. And when our student pantry employees here, when they make that relationship with a student, when they realize that that student may be facing housing or food insecurities, we have a list of resources we can help them with and we ensure... again, this is trying to reduce the stigma or using a pantry," said Mika Matzen, Red Rocks Community College Student Project Center Coordinator.

The school has set up academic alert systems that flag when students are struggling in class, which could be a possible sign of a food or housing need. 


Red Rocks Community College said eventually it hopes to expand these food services to faculty and staff. 

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