Located in the Terrace Campus Library of Northwest Community College is a storage area not dedicated to books, audio visual items or computer terminals. The shelves in this area are lined with canned goods, pasta, peanut butter and other kitchen cupboard staples. Every month 15-20 students access the student food bank. Each student receives a bag of groceries.
The Terrace campus food bank operates entirely on donations and over the last several months the Bookstore Café and the Cafeteria have been donating their tips to the student food bank. Since September, more than $300 has come from the Bookstore Café alone.
“Being a student is expensive and stressful,” says Librarian Melanie Wilke, who also oversees the food bank. “We are so happy to support students in any way we can and sometimes that means supplying a bag of groceries. And if that makes a difference for the student, that is great."
Hanna Niemi, who works at the Bookstore Café, says she is amazed by the generosity of students and staff. When the tip jars were first put out, Niemi says five to 10 dollars per week were accumulated. Over the last several months those donations have quadrupled.
And she’s also impressed with the thoughtfulness of many people. She tells the story of a student who lost his wallet. When it was returned to the registration office – complete with the cash he had in it – he decided to pay it forward by donating half of his recovered money to the food bank.
So, next time you are buying your breakfast at the Bookstore Café or your lunch at the Cafeteria, don’t overlook those tip jars and know your spare change goes to a very good cause.
For more information about the Terrace campus food bank, contact Melanie Wilke at firstname.lastname@example.org