By Peter Vennerbeck

If you spend any time on campus, you have likely seen the signs and fliers for the Food Pantry of Cape Cod Community College (4Cs). You may even have gotten a snack from the gentlemen, Ted and Ed, who carry baskets around campus to give the studying students something to eat.

If you haven’t seen the fliers, the Food Pantry of 4Cs is located on the lower level of the Life Fitness Center, on the far end of the 4Cs campus, room PE G13.

The pantry is run by Kelly Brox, who has dedicated her time to helping feed the students, faculty and staff of the college. Brox orders approximately 1,200 pounds of food each week to keep the pantry stocked. In the fall 2019 semester, Brox and the pantry gave away 500 bags of food, with the contents of each bag valuing about $50.

Each student and staff member of 4Cs is entitled to one bag of food per week from the pantry. The nicest part is that you get to pick and choose what food items you would like, making it easy to supplement your main food supply. To get your bag of food all you need is a valid 4Cs ID and one piece of mail. Currently, there is no financial qualification required to access the pantry.

“We will never turn somebody away,” said Brox. “…Everybody needs food every single day.”

According to Brox, if you don’t have a piece of mail, then a second form of ID is fine. Even if you don’t have one on hand, you will still get food, but you will be asked to please provide it next time you visit.

Some people may feel embarrassed to take advantage of the pantry, but those fears are not worth starving yourself. Please don’t be embarrassed to take advantage of such a great service. There is no shame in accepting help from your community.

“Think of it as another free college service.” said Ted Lowrie, a volunteer at the Food Pantry of 4Cs.

Students can help the pantry by participating in healthy snack drives or something as simple as passing out postcards or fliers. Unfortunately, no 4Cs students or faculty members can volunteer in the pantry itself. This is to protect the anonymity of students and staff that use the services provided by the Food Pantry of 4Cs.

If you are interested in volunteering elsewhere, go to the ‘Family Pantry of Cape Cod’ website to fill out an application. The Family Pantry of Cape Cod in Harwich is always looking for volunteers!

The Food Pantry of 4Cs is willing and able to accommodate for the needs of its clients, and the staff is open to suggestions.

“Please let us know if there’s a particular item(s) you’d like to have in the pantry, and we’ll do our best to provide it for you,” states the food pantry page on the 4Cs website.

In the past, the pantry had a client with a disability that made it difficult to use a can opener and needed cans with the pull tabs. The staff found two cases of pull tab cans of various foods to provide for this client. That just shows how much they care about the people they are giving food to.

“Student aren’t going to be successful if they are hungry,” Said Brox.

So if you find yourself in need of food, please go to the lower level of the Life Fitness Center. The pantry is open on Mondays from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM, Tuesdays from 10 AM until 2 PM, or Wednesdays from 10 AM until 12:30 PM. If you need the help, please don’t let other things get in the way. Sign up for the Food Pantry of Cape Cod Community College and get your free bag of food if you find yourself in a time of need.