Food pantry fighting student hunger

MARION COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - Jillian Sole, the information specialist for continuing education and student services at Pierpont Community and Technical College, works with a wide variety of students.

In her interactions with students she noticed many coming to her asking for a snack to help them get through their day of classes.

This inspired her to open a full food pantry on campus.

"The pantry was started as a need for our students, I had a couple students come up to me and just ask me for a snack," Sole said "it's something I've always kept at my desk, so we've expanded a snack cabinet to a food panty,"

Sole says the pantry is a judgement free service, whether students are just looking for a snack or are in need of more assistance.

"If they need a lunch, if they need a snack in between classes, whatever they need it's there. There's no questions asked, everybody is welcome to come,"

Thanks to a partnership with LIFE United Methodist Church, the school has been able to fully stock their pantry.

The pastor of the church says partnering with the college was a perfect fit for their mission.

"That's what we feel as a church that we're called to do, is to be in mission outside our walls," Larry Buckland, the pastor at LIFE said "so we will always look for the opportunity to serve our community in love, that's part of our mission statement,"

While the pantry just had it's official opening, it has been serving students for several weeks.

Sole says she has already seen the pantry impact students lives.

"I had a mom come to me, she had lost her food stamps because she had to take a part-time job over the summer, so she lost her support there," said Sole "and when she found about this she was very excited because now she can have that little bit to help her and her son,"

The pantry is designed to provide students with quick and easy to make meals that they can take with them.

In addition to the pantry services the college will also work with the church to host monthly dinners open to all students, faculty, and their families.