Employees ad volunteers for the High Plains Food Bank Mobile Harvest pack bags of produce in preparation for distribution to around 130 people.
By JORDAN NUNER and FAITH CHAMBERLAIN
Staff Reporter/Page Editor
Amarillo College’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC), provides resources to students through their various services such as the Counseling Center, legal clinic and food pantry, which are completely free to students and only require that students be currently enrolled to use them. AC also offers employment resources for students looking for a job or internship.
The AC food pantry is free for any enrolled student who is attending classes and not only provides food but also other necessities such as hygiene products and supplies for taking care of babies. Students can fill out an online ordering form, select products they need and pick them up at a certain time, similar to shopping online with Walmart. On the Washington Street Campus, the food pantry is located in Dutton Hall room 101. There are also food pantries on West Campus in Building A room 104, East campus in the Student Service Center room 136 as well as on the Moore county and Hereford Campuses.
The pantry can be used up to twice a month, but can be flexible if more food is needed. It can also help students apply for government food assistance.. AC officials report that 42% of the student population use these services and it’s growing every year. “When something goes on, it’s OK to ask for help,” Jordan Herrera, director of social services said. “It’s OK to come to a place that’s safe to talk to social workers to get the help you need. We’re here to serve you,”
The High Plains Food Bank mobile harvest truck is another resource that students can use. The truck comes to the college every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. located in Parking Lot 6 near the STEM research center on Van Buren. “It’s open to anyone who wants to come,” said Autumn Schiller, a food bank employee. All a student has to do is provide their name to receive a bag of produce.
Every week the truck provides produce to around 130 people at its AC location. It also visits Heal the City, at Sixth Street and Tennessee, on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. and ACTS Community Resource Center at 202 S. Louisiana, on Wednesdays at the same time. “We do a distribution Monday through Thursday. The only way we don’t is due to weather,” Ryleigh Cady, a food bank employee, said.
AC also has a scholarship program that gives out awards every year and offers financial assistance, often to first-generation students, when needed.
On Sept. 20, the ARC is holding its annual resource fair in the Oeschger Family Mall on the Washington Street Campus. The event will bring representatives from the Amarillo community on campus for students to connect with. Students attending the resource fair will also have an opportunity to enter in a drawing for a scholarship.