Sept. 15, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An organization that supplies personal care items has reached out to partner with Grand Rapids Community College’s student food pantry.
GRCC’s Office of Student Life has held weekly distributions since March, providing more than 1,200 bags of food, along with household cleaning and hygiene supplies, baby items and pet food.
A recent grant from Heart of West Michigan United Way and Kent County will help the distributions continue through 2020. After hearing about the donation, Emily Beggs, the Grand Rapids affiliate director of I Support the Girls, contacted GRCC to see if her nonprofit organization could also help students.
I Support the Girls collects and distributes menstrual hygiene products, bras and underwear to those who need them. Beggs notes these items, essential for both dignity and good health, are expensive, especially in households with more than one woman.
“As the pandemic has progressed and women started losing jobs or losing hours, they’ve had to start making difficult budget decisions: ‘Do I pay for rent or food -- or for these products I need?’ We saw, in addition to food and housing insecurity, a health insecurity.”
I Support the Girls is donating menstrual cups to GRCC’s student pantry, and will work with the Student Life office on other ways to help.
“Students and their families are struggling,” said Lina Blair, director of Student Life. “Anything that our campus pantry can supply is one less item that our students have to use their limited incomes on. We are so grateful that I Support the Girls reached out to us.”
GRCC is one of several community organizations that I Support the Girls has partnered with to distribute menstrual hygiene products and undergarments. Those who wish to donate to I Support the Girls can locate drop-off sites, contact Beggs, and link to an Amazon wish list through the group’s Facebook page.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.