Orca Food Pantry Reopens With Expanded Services

From left to right: Carolyn Simpson Scott from the WCC Foundation; Jackie Rumble, 2016-17 ASWCC Director for Campus Advocacy, a student leader who was instrumental in founding the Orca Food Pantry; Heidi Farani, WCC Director for Student Life and Development; Kathi Hiyane-Brown, WCC President; Joshua Norton, 2022-23 ASWCC President; Catherine Chambers, 2018-2020 Americorps Vista Member in charge of the Feeding Whatcom project which supported growth of the Orca Food Pantry; and Cheryl Thornton from the WCC Foundation cut the ribbon to open the new Orca Food Pantry in Syre Student Center Sept. 23. Photo by Staci Baird.

The campus community celebrated the opening of the new Orca Food Pantry in the Syre Student Center on Sept 23. The space, formally home to the Dockside Café, was revived through the efforts of Associated Students of Whatcom Community College (ASWCC). The opening of the Orca Food Pantry is one of a series of on-campus efforts to address food insecurity on campus.

“The Orca Food Pantry will bring light to the conversation of food insecurity that is common in students on campus,” said ASWCC Health and Wellness Coordinator Dakshayini Kasinathan. “This new food pantry is a space that would allow these conversations to occur progressively.”

ASWCC President Joshua Norton said food is one of the most important things. Unfortunately, some people don’t get enough.

“Some people have to go home and study and try and do their homework with that gnawing feeling in their belly and they’re going to wake up and go to class the next day, and that hunger is still going to be there. And they’re going to sit there for hours while their instructor tries to teach them but the only thing they would be thinking about is that feeling in their stomach.”

But that won’t be the case for Whatcom students Norton said.

View of the Orca Food Pantry with people standing outside for the opening.
Community members and partners gather outside the new Orca Food Pantry to celebrate its new location on Sept. 23. Photo courtsey: Staci Baird

“Whatcom students are not going to sit in class with that feeling in their belly. Instead, they’re going to come here, and they’re going to eat and then they’re going to go to class and they’re going to learn.”

The food pantry is open to all students and requires an Orca card for entry. It’s open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m.

One thought on “Orca Food Pantry Reopens With Expanded Services

  1. In todays individualistic society the capitalist elites want you to feel alienated from your community. They want you to feel like you have to do everything on your own. This is how they can better control you as their puppet for the purpose of amassing their own wealth. Community led programs like these can take control back from the elites and teach others that they aren’t alone and can get assistance. It may be small steps but these are the steps being made towards a social revolution to take back what is owed to us, the working class. Great work WCC!🗿

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