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GRCC Athletics, Student Life team up to help fight food insecurity by offering free admission to fans donating to Food Pantry

Jan. 13, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College Athletics is teaming up with Student Life to support students challenged by food insecurity, offering reduced price or free admission to two upcoming basketball games in exchange for food donations.

Spectators who bring three canned food items to the Saturday, Jan. 15 games against Lansing Community College or the Wednesday, Jan. 19 game against Muskegon Community College will be admitted free. Those bringing two canned items will be admitted for $1, and fans bringing one canned good will be admitted for $2.

On Saturday, the women’s basketball game starts at 1 p.m. with the men taking the court at 3 p.m. On Jan. 19, the women start at 5:30 p.m. with the men tipping off at 7:30 p.m.

All of the canned goods will be donated to the GRCC Food Pantry, which has served thousands of students since the start of the pandemic.

“The Athletics Department is part of our campus community, and it’s important for our student-athletes to be leaders on and off the court,” Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said. “This is an opportunity to support our campus food pantry, but also raise awareness of the problem of food insecurity and how it affects our students.”

GRCC’s Food Pantry and snack pantries are designed to meet the immediate food needs of its students on campus by providing a variety of non-perishable food items and basic necessities to students and their families.

GRCC’s Food Pantry is located in the Student Center, and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Students can visit the pantry weekly. Students can register in the Student Life Office.

There are 10 snack pantries located across campus, providing grab-and-go options including granola bars and microwavable soups. They are maintained in partnership by Student Life, the English department, Psi Beta, Counseling and Career Development, Library and Learning Commons and the Tassell M-TEC. The Snack Pantries do not require registration and food is provided when available.

Information is available at grcc.edu/foodpantry.

“We’re so appreciative of GRCC Athletics, and all of the student and community groups that have supported the Food Pantry,” said Lina Blair, GRCC’s director of Student Life and Conduct. “Many of our students struggle with food insecurity, and the problem intensified during the pandemic. We’re fortunate to have a supportive community to help students overcome this obstacle.” 

Students can connect with additional campus and community resources at grcc.edu/gethelp.

The food drive is part of a conference-wide effort organized by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.

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