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STLCC-Meramec Partners to Introduce Mobile Market

October 25, 2016

photo of Mobile Market  

St. Louis Community College-Meramec is partnering with the St. Louis Area Foodbank to stop hunger on campus by providing a greater selection of fresh groceries to students in need through a new pilot program called “BBC on the Go,” a Mobile Market.

The Mobile Market is a truck/van that carries fresh fruit, produce, low calorie beverages and individual boxes packed with canned and dry food items for distribution. It will be parked west of the Student Center in Parking Lot E, near Rose Hill Avenue. Students can drive through or walk to pick up their merchandise. It will be available on the third Thursday of the month, with visits scheduled between noon and 3 p.m. November 17, December 15 and January 19.

Meramec initiated a successful food pantry program, the Brown Bag Café, to meet basic needs of students so they could focus on school. Students can have a greater selection of healthy food choices that they also can take home. This program is run by student workers and interns in the Human Services program.

“They put together events on campus to help educate their fellow students on the issue of hunger on campus. They do food drives and classroom presentations,” said Claire Martin, manager of Meramec’s Student Assistance program. 

The new partnership started in the summer when Martin and Christina Hunter, who is a Student Assistance Program specialist and counselor, reached out to community organizations and agencies to increase their knowledge of existing resources in the community for Meramec students.

image of Mobile Market  

“We met with St. Louis Area Foodbank representatives to discuss ways we could partner with them to increase our campus food pantry supply,” Martin said. “Considering our storage ability, they suggested a Mobile Market as a way to offer fresh produce and groceries to students and their families every third Thursday of the month.”

On average, the Brown Bag Café (BBC) gets close to 900 visits a month or 41 visits per day. Qualified students can use the Brown Bag Café service anytime and as often as they need while they are on campus. There are currently about 90 students enrolled in the BBC.

For operation of the Mobile Market, Martin notes that 10 to 15 students will be needed to assist with the unloading and distribution of food and cleanup. Leftover food items will be donated to Circle of Concerns and/or donated to other STLCC campuses.

“This is a great opportunity for team building and for students to get involved in civic engagement,” Martin said. “Volunteers can be from various organizations, including Service Works.”

Martin hopes the program will impact between 100 and 130 STLCC students and their families each month.

For more information, contact Martin at cmartin305@stlcc.edu or 314-984-7168, or Hunter at chunter72@stlcc.edu or 314-984-7076.