The Voyageur Food Pantry started in early February as a community collaboration with Backus Community Center, 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 Backus Community Center, in the memo, RRCC Food Pantry or give to LeAnne Hardy on the RRCC campus.