Student Senate Takes Aim at Ending Student Hunger

RCTC has a food pantry for students, but Student Senate President Sarah Brakebill-Hacke decided that wasn’t enough after witnessing how students gobbled up pizza during an on-campus meeting.

To combat hunger, she and the RCTC Student Senate voted to shift $20,000 of reserve funds to emergency food aid for the student body to help rectify the issue.

What that means is students will be able to get on-campus meals once a week, and also snacks each day. Additionally, student clubs can provide food at meetings. $10,000 will go to those endeavors, while the other half will be used by the Senate’s health and safety committee, with members deciding what to do with that later, with one idea including some marketing in the community to let people know there is a food need.

It’s not a fix that will last, and Sarah is hoping to do more – in addition to already lofty goals for the Senate and student body.

“Ultimately, we are advocating for meal plans for students,” said Brakebill-Hacke. “In the meantime, hunger is not an issue that can wait. Advocating for a meal plan tomorrow is not enough.”

As of right now, Student Senate is figuring out where to locate one food/snack bin, while also looking to implement more, including any area students receive counseling, the Heintz Center, and the Sports Center.

The library is also a spot that will get a food bin. It serves as a good after-hours location, which is important to Brakebill-Hacke, since students aren’t just on campus during the day.

These snacks help, but students can also get food at the RCTC food shelf, and even the Learning Center offers some materials for sandwiches like peanut butter and bread for those who need a boost while studying.

A longtime staple for hungry students, the food pantry, now called the Hive Supply, was originally run by a campus-based branch of the Lion’s Club before the Student Senate took over management duties in 2015.

Not only does the food shelf accept donations, but it partnered with Channel One to receive monthly food donations.

Brakebill-Hacke said even though there are all of these resources, there still isn’t enough food to go around for everyone.

The corner above the cafeteria where Hive Supply is located.

She also said there are other problems: access and possibly embarrassment.

“How do we feed students right now, and those who might feel ashamed, can’t access it, or it’s not enough?” Brakebill-Hacke said.

If you’re a student who needs a snack, keep an eye out for a food bin. Everyone can use the extra edge when prepping for an exam.


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