The Delta College Food Pantry has suspended drive-thru events and distribution for the Spring 2021 semester.
The drive-thru events were carried out by the pantry during the Fall 2020 semester in an effort to continue supporting students in need, but the spike in COVID-19 cases prompted the pantry to discontinue these events to protect its volunteers.
Despite following social distancing protocols, the pantry determined that continuing drive-thru events under current conditions would be riskier than last semester.
“All protocols were being followed last semester, but our department felt the risk was too great this semester and we wanted to prioritize the health and safety of our volunteers, students and staff,” said Director of Student Activities Shayla Walker.
Delta College isn’t the only school facing this dilemma as others colleges have also decided not to distribute resources to students like the previous semester.
“Many other college campuses throughout California are not distributing food in person to students, and we felt at this time we needed to explore alternative methods to support our students without putting our team in potential harm’s way to reduce risk,” said Walker.
As an alternative to drive-thru distribution events, the pantry has proposed distributing grocery cards.
“I am currently working with campus administration to look at distributing electronic grocery cards to students,” said Walker. “It would be similar to a gift card where a student would get a certain amount.”
Walker stated that it would take some time for the pantry to establish this proposal as it is under discussion with the campus administration, and assured that this is to make the process of getting the cards to students easier.
“We are still planning and discussing the details of this,” said Walker. “We would like to make the process as seamless as possible for students who need assistance and we will begin marketing this to students as soon as we have everything in place. We will advertise this on our website and directly to students’ emails once we have this process in order.”
While the details and process of distributing electronic grocery cards continues to be discussed, the food pantry is still willing to help anyone in need right now via email.
“If students need immediate assistance, they can send an email to the office of student activities,” said Walker. “We will work with students on a case-by-case basis to help them get the assistance they need.