The food pantry for those students and employees in need at Horry-Georgetown Technical College is back open again after shutting down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are excited to be a part of it,” said Conway Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Cox.
HGTC officials joined members of the Conway Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Horry County for the grand re-opening of the even-larger-than-before pantry on Wednesday.
The HGTC Pantry provides non-perishable food and personal care items to meet the needs of all current students and HGTC employees free and confidentially, according to their website. Their vision is to end food insecurity among members of the HGTC community, and make sure everyone has the necessary educational support and resources to meet their basic needs and overall well-being.
The pantry first opened in a small space on campus in 2018, and quickly HGTC officials noticed that the need was greater than they initially realized.
“As needs increased, we realized we needed to do more,” said Jeanne Bennett, professor of Human Services at HGTC, noting that 56% of first-generation students are considered food insecure.
They opened both a Conway campus and Grand Strand campus pantry to help meet the population’s needs in February 10, 2020, and then COVID-19 hit.
“We closed a month later,” Bennett said. “So that Fall, we made changes to how things were distributed to students.”
She said that now those in need on campus can arrange via confidential email to pick up what they need curbside at Building 600. People can also arrange to drop off donations curbside as well.
For the time being, no one can come directly to the pantry and pick out their own food and supplies, but they are prepackaging goods based on their current list of available items.
Bennett said that food items are always welcome, but currently they also are in need of diapers of all sizes.
Only current students and employees at HGTC may use the pantry, and instructions for using it can be found at https://www.hgtc.edu/current_students/pantry.html
Donations can be dropped off at any of their three campuses, but those would like to arrange a time may email firstname.lastname@example.org or donate through their Amazon wish list at www.hgtc.edu/pantry-donate.