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'Community Feed' opens for TCC students at MacArthur Center to help combat food insecurities

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Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 21:36:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - College can be demanding, and not having enough money to eat is a major problem that many students struggle with.

To combat this problem, Tidewater Community College teamed up with TowneBank and the Foodbank of Southern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

The bank donated $250,000 to create what is called the Community Feed inside MacArthur Center in Norfolk.

It’s a food pantry for students at TCC.

“I can only describe it as 'amazing.' I can describe it as a 'game changer.' I can describe it as 'a dream come true,'” said Emanuel Chestnut, TCC Interim Provost of Norfolk Campus.

The ultimate goal is to end food insecurities among students.

It’s a major problem at TCC and other community colleges across the country.

“We see students every day who are food insecure. We’re making the kinds of choices whether to buy textbooks, bus passes or feed themselves or their families. When students are hungry, they cannot learn,” said Kerry Ragno, Dean of Arts and Humanities at TCC.

This campus-based pantry will be open to all TCC students and is currently by appointment only. Click here if you'd like to schedule an appointment. Students can go online and request food or information! Students can pick up their order at the pantry, which is located by the J. Crew store in the mall.

“Students are the future, and it’s really an investment into the community as a whole and we want to take away any concerns of food and have them focus on their education,” said John Baiocco, President of TowneBank Norfolk.

To some, the pantry means a whole lot more than providing information and meals.

“Bring people together. Meeting the needs and supporting them through those turbulent times in their lives. I was excited. I was already on board,” said Leisa Arrington, who designed the inside of the building.

She is also a former TCC student.