The Voyageur Food Pantry started in early February as a community collaboration with Falls Hunger Coalition, Second Harvest Food Bank, Ruby’s Pantry and Rainy River Community College. This collaboration along with staff, faculty and community donations allowed us to launch the pantry quickly.
Approximately 20 students visit the pantry each day, they can choose from a piece of fruit, granola bar, box of cereal or spaghetti sauce and noodles. Whatever meets their needs. The only thing we ask is for them to put a tick on the board that they visited the pantry, no questions asked.
Hunger and food insecurity are growing problems on college campuses and have a negative impact on the educational experience. The rising cost of a college education and the increasing number of non- traditional students, mean that more students are living on a shoestring budget. Problems with food harm student’s educational efforts. A range of consequences could mean they are missing or dropping a class, their energy level is low, and they cannot focus.
Robin and Steve Bjorkquist volunteer to purchase, stock and inventory the food pantry. Bjorkquists said, "We have surveyed our students on items they would like to see and try to purchase them for the pantry. We also receive left over food from Ruby Pantry distribution."
Cash contributions have also come in from RRCC faculty, staff and students, as well as local community members. If you would like to donate, please mail or drop a check off to Littlefork Baptist Church in the memo, RRCC Food Pantry or give to Amy Amundsen on the RRCC campus.
Quotes about the Voyageur Food Pantry
Food insecurity is an issue across college campuses and ours is no exception. Last Fall, the Small Group Communication students identified food insecurity as one of the most pressing issues our college students face. To address this need, students raised funds and food to support our campus pantry as well as support our local food shelf and Salvation Army. Your grants make a significant impact in the lives of our community and our students, and for this, we give thanks.
- Rachel Berry – Speech & Communication Instructor
We have wonderful supporters who help keep the pantry, at Rainy River Community College, stocked with a variety of food products along with other items such as soap and shampoo. College can be a challenging time for many people as it is often someone’s first time being away from home and needing to be financially dependent. Food security can be an issue and being able to provide relief for students struggling is so important for their health and success. Especially during this challenging time due to Covid, being able to provide some relief for students can make a huge difference. Many thanks to all our contributors who make the pantry possible!
- Andrea Gohl, Art Instructor
The food pantry has done amazing things for myself and other students on campus. It makes sure we do not go hungry in our dorms and it provides snack during the day at school. I see it impacting not only my life but the college community as a whole.
- Esteban Ruelas, RRCC student
As a student who works two jobs, I still find myself needing extra help to provide full and healthy meals. The food pantry at RRCC is a saving grace. Not only have I used it for food, it also provides necessary sanitary and house hold items that can be expensive otherwise. Without it I know I and many other students would be much worse off.
- Glorie Romine, RRCC Student
The Voyageur Food Pantry has been a welcome and much needed resource for our students. We know that food insecurity is a real challenge that students face, and we are thankful for the help of community partners in establishing our highly utilized food pantry.
- Stephanie Turban, Housing Director