Tunxis Community College in Farmington is looking to lend a hand to students who have fallen on hard times.
Last week, it opened a food pantry on campus and it's already served dozens of students.
It's a big-hearted idea squeezed into a tiny space.
"We will do everything we can to help students stay on their path toward completing their degrees, making themselves more employable and enriching their lives in so many other ways with a college diploma," said Cathryn Addy, Tunxis Community College president.
An office was turned into the food pantry.
It's stocked with canned goods, toiletries and household items.
School leaders said it feeds a growing need.
The pantry is open twice a month and students and employees can pick up 10 items at a time.
"If we find that we have the ability to do more, we will, but we don't want to have to run out and turn anybody away," said Amy Feest, a founder of the pantry.
The school said a mix of students are struggling to make ends meet. Some are teenagers living on their own. Others are single parents and veterans.
"A lot of what we've already seen in the pantry have been families," Feest said. "[They're] people who come in and tell us they're getting for themselves and either a parent or home or a child at home."
The staff said it hopes news of the pantry quickly spreads. To help do that, there are donations boxes all around campus with a list of items that can be donated.
"Walking over here I just realized that several of them are full again," Feest said.
While the pantry fills an immediate need, the staff said it also provides students with long term resources in their communities.
"It's a really nice opportunity sometimes to have a conversation and say 'listen, you know I can help you a little bit more than just with your classes that you need. I can help you kind of figure out other things in your life,'" Feest said.
The pantry is open Mondays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and by appointment.
Anyone interested in making a donation can do so by heading to this website.
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