FDLTCC establishes Bruce Carlson Food PantryOn Thursday, Jan. 12, the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College campus community held a feast to announce the creation of the Bruce Carlson Food Pantry. On Thursday, Jan. 19, the first food delivery arrived on campus.
By: Press release, Pine Journal
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) kicked off a new partnership in January with the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank in an effort to provide basic food items for needy students on campus.
On Thursday, Jan. 12, the campus community held a feast to announce the creation of the Bruce Carlson Food Pantry. On Thursday, Jan. 19, the first food delivery arrived on campus.
The purpose of the Bruce Carlson Food Pantry is to provide students with a convenient access point to basic food items.
“Some of our students living in the campus residence hall have limited access to groceries and simple food items to prepare meals,” said Jesse Stirewalt, director of housing at FDLTCC. “In some cases they don’t have transportation to get to the grocery store, or they may be just barely getting by with their personal finances. And many of our students have never gone shopping or cooked for themselves on a daily basis, so it’s a new learning experience for them. These students can’t always go grocery shopping when the kitchen cupboard gets empty, so our goal is to help bring food items to students in need.”
The residence hall at FDLTCC is configured with apartment-style units with kitchens and full-size appliances. Students prepare their own meals because a traditional dormitory cafeteria with meal plans is not available on campus. Items students receive through the campus food pantry are designed to assist students during lean times, and not create total reliance on the program.
The idea behind the on-campus food distribution is to honor Bruce Carlson, the former housing director at FDLTCC who worked for 10 years at the college. In the fall of 2010, Carlson unexpectedly passed away.
“This new service for students is a great way to honor Bruce by putting his name on the food pantry effort,” said Larry Anderson, president at FDLTCC. “Bruce was the first and only housing director at our campus, and he was the kind of person who would go the extra mile for any student. I can’t imagine how much of his own money Bruce used to buy food for students in our residence hall. We would hear stories about Bruce from our students long after he did something nice. Bruce would be delighted to know that we are serving our students in a helpful way.”
The newly created Bruce Carlson Food Pantry is starting small, but with long-term sustainability in mind. The initial plan has a goal to assist residence hall students on a limited basis with a once-a-month distribution of food items. The initial food ordered through Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank was distributed to approximately 30 students living on campus. After the monthly process goes through the cycle of ordering and distributing the food a few times, college staff will evaluate the food pantry to determine how to expand the service to additional students in need.
An application and site visit from the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank was required prior to the new food pantry gaining acceptance as an approved food distribution site. The partnership between Second Harvest and the College allows the Bruce Carlson Food Pantry to purchase quantities of food items at greatly reduced prices, which is a huge advantage for a start-up service with a limited budget. Food stock includes both perishable items and non-perishable items.
The Bruce Carlson Food Pantry is funded through donations of money and food items. Money has been generated through fundraisers on campus sponsored by the Nursing Club and student life, as well as individual donations from campus employees and students.