Pantry is back to helping students

AK Pachla, Copy Editor


The Renegade Pantry is in full swing once again for the spring 2016 semester.  Pantry co-coordinator David Guinto is happy with the ongoing results. “It [the pantry] has been very effective at helping out students.”

Guinto started volunteering for the pantry last spring, becoming co-coordinator in October of 2015.  In that time, the pantry’s operations have expanded from monthly grocery distribution to include a farmer’s market and community closet, as well as the Daily Bread program and distributing personal hygiene kits. The pantry also holds fundraising bake sales to support their various initiatives.

It may seem out of character for a place like BC to host students with pressing survival needs, but over the pantry’s six-year tenure, the reality is that the more it provides, the more need it uncovers.

Two of the newer programs, regular clothing and hygiene product distributions, have already made an impact on the student body.

“Through what we’ve seen … the ones that have been coming for hygiene kits have needed it as a necessity to help them out,” said Guinto, adding, “As well as the clothing, too.”

Pantry programs also actively seek to involve the communities it is a part of, both on and off campus. “Generally, it’s very connected with everything,” says Guinto. Area businesses are in on the act, with Panera Bread donating directly, while local grocer Smart & Final organizes a customer food drive for pantry donations.

Pantry staff also contacts local hotels to ask for donations for the hygiene, as well as curating an information clearinghouse for students looking for affordable rentals close to school. “We like to involve the community,” said Guinto.

Of course, students who are interested are always welcome to contact Student Life and volunteer time or donate goods to the pantry.

However, one of the most important things students can do to help the Renegade Pantry is spread the word.  “We’re finding out every day that new students [have] never heard about it before,” said Guinto.