Delta aims to curb food insecurity

An example of easy opening cans in the ASDC Pantry. Photo by Vivienne Aguilar.
An example of easy opening cans in the ASDC Pantry. Photo by Vivienne Aguilar.

People in need, from those who are homeless to struggling families, can suffer greatly during the winter. Organizations in Stockton work hard year round and face more challenges when the city gets cold, and the Associated Students of Delta College (ASDC) is taking steps to help these organizations help others.

On campus, ASDC is hosting a canned food drive for students. Bins for collection can be found in the library, bookstore, counseling center on the second floor of the DeRicco building, and near the mail room in the Horton Administration building.

At the beginning of the semester, Delta’s food pantry was stocked at about a quarter of what it is since the bins went out.

“We had a huge amount come from the library,” said ASDC Student Activities Coordinator Ana Villegas.

Students in need visit the ASDC Pantry so the shelves are in need of constant restocking. Forms must be submitted from students requesting assistance.

Questions on the food pantry client intake form ask students to describe their financial hardship, how they heard about the pantry, and Delta enrollment along with personal verification.

Portions are given out to students based on household size. ASDC’s portion chart states students are allowed two pantry visits per month. Categories of food include canned vegetables, fruit, soups/broths/sauces and protein. 

Those donation are asked to consider students may not have a can opener or a stove available. Microwavable and easily opened cans are preferred. A list of specific nonperishable food items students find most helpful can be found in the ASDC office next to the Pride Center in the Shima building.

This Saturday, ASDC is also hosting a community donation walk, door to door, off of Benjamin Holt Drive.

“It’s almost like trick or treating, but for canned foods,” Villegas said.

Director of Student Activities Shayla Walker has reached out to students in an email asking for volunteers for this event.

“We will be meeting in the Trader Joe’s parking lot in Lincoln Village at 10 a.m. We would like our food pantry to be filled, especially around the holiday season to be able to serve students in need on campus,” said Walker.

On Nov. 15, ASDC and Stockton’s Emergency Food Bank will be teaming up to host HarvestFest. Fresh produce will be provided, according to Gillian Murphy, interim chief executive officer of the Emergency Food Bank.

“Hardly any barrels are left on-site at the Emergency Food Bank, because many businesses want to host stations around this time of the year,” Murphy said. 

The organization is currently receiving hundreds of turkeys for Stocktonians in need of Thanksgiving dinners.

The Food Bank runs thanks to volunteers. 

Volunteers come from a multitude of backgrounds. Some serve community service at the food bank, others offer their time and skill as security.

The system of volunteers are vetted by administration at the Emergency Food Bank, all of which is made possible by monetary donations. According to Murphy, the Food Bank is able to stretch dollars further than physical donations.

Although the food bank has and will receive many frozen turkey donations, if necessary they will purchase more to reach their goal of four thousand for Thanksgiving boxes.

ASDC and Stockton’s Emergency Food Bank are working diligently. They both have hurdles to overcome during the holiday season, which has proven to be difficult for many in our community.

Delta’s food pantry and Stockton’s food bank are looking forward to new freezer facilities to keep perishable items for those in need.