Region’s first school food pantry to expand the fight against hunger


August 21, 2014 – Times Staff

The first school food pantry in Northwest Indiana will be unveiled at noon Friday at Calumet College of St. Joseph’s Quentin P. Smith Student Lounge (Student Activity Center).

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is teaming up with Calumet College of St. Joseph’s service engagement club, G.I.V.E. (Get Involved, Value Everyone,) to develop the first school pantry in the region.

The pantry will service the community from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays. If students are hungry during the day, the Student Life Department can dispense food from the pantry.

“It’s a very exciting time for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana right now, and we’re grateful to be able to be bring innovative solutions to hunger,” said Executive Director Arleen Peterson said. “Many people don’t think about the need for hunger relief for college students and their families, but the truth is it’s growing in need.

“Students attending college are families in transition who can benefit from additional resources. The school pantry was designed to combat this issue, and with this partnership we are able to reach more individuals than we could on our own.”

The college food pantry is a case of students helping students. “For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs, housing, and living expenses are presenting new financial challenges,” said Diane Bailey, director of Student Activities at the college. “The leaders of G.I.V.E. embodied the true essence of servant leadership. They saw a need, and used their resources to create a food pantry which will lead to the betterment of the entire CCSJ community.”

Jessica Compton, G.I.V.E.’s president, said: “We serve as that bridge to bring together individuals that share the same passion for volunteering.” These actions foster the development of personal values, social responsibility and a sense of caring for others.

For a list of all the pantries and soup kitchens that the food bank serves, visit