Ivy Tech opens food pantry to battle food insecurity

Ivy Tech debuted their new food pantry today with the help of a $15,000 donation from United Healthcare.

College pantries like this one have popped up around Michiana including one at Indiana University South Bend.

According to the USDA, food insecurity is "disrupted eating patterns" due to a lack of food access.

United Healthcare says giving this type of support fits in with their company's mission because of the impact education has on healthcare.

"The reason we're interested in providing this support is that people who finish their education and advance their education are more likely to be healthier, to have more wellness and our mission at United Healthcare is to help people live healthier lives," stated Tom McMahon, Vice President of Business Development at United Healthcare.

The president of Ivy Tech says having food security is also critical to doing well in school.

"This also goes to our retention piece because again, if a parent knows where they can get food, not only for themselves but for their student, for their children, this will help them, their mind will be at ease so that they can study," says Dr. Janet Evelyn, President, Ivy Tech Community College South Bend.

According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are 58,000 homeless college students in the United States.

Many of those students are in Michiana and the surrounding area. For example, at Ivy Tech, there are students who attend school and use the services of the Center for the Homeless across the street.

President Evelyn says in addition to the food pantry, Ivy Tech has food cards they hand out to students who can use them in the cafeteria. Ivy Tech also plans on having nutrition classes to help students learn how to eat healthier.. 

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