Student need reaches all-time high
CNA addresses hunger and wellness through its Pantry Program
There is an urgency for food and basic necessities to assist students in need who study on College of the North Atlantic (CNA) campuses. And while the college is answering the call, it is asking for the public’s help. CNA’s Pantry Program has been in place since January 2022, providing food banklike services to anyone who needs it. Students at Port aux Basques campus built the pantry cabinet shelving for all 17 CNA campuses throughout Newfoundland and Labrador so they could properly store their goods and supplies. However, the challenge to keep the shelves stocked has grown since the program began, and the college, with the support of CNA’s executive leadership team, is embarking on a donation campaign to ensure a greater security of food and other essential supplies for its students. Jeff Martin, CNA’s director of Student Experience, says until Nov. 29, CNA is officially accepting donations to help keep their pantries stocked. However, donations will still be accepted after that date, as the need is anticipated to continue. “The great thing about our program is that students are encouraged to take only what they need on a day-by-day basis so that others in need can also avail of the pantries, including food and personal hygiene items. We don’t ask questions and we don’t track usage,” Martin said in a news release. “However, if students find themselves in greater need than a meal or two, we ask that they meet with a counsellor to see if they can avail of CNA’s Student Emergency Fund, which was created to handle larger emergency situations. All we know is there are times when shelves have been bare and that’s very disconcerting for us.” Martin says this additional student duress is evident with the increased use of guidance counselling services throughout CNA. Anna Peddle, CNA’s manager of Alumni and Advancement, says the college received several donations to kickstart the program from donors. CNA also received donations from its employees though its Giving Makes Cents payroll deduction program launched in late 2020. “The cost of everything has gone up … it’s difficult for students to make ends meet, and unfortunately, we see that sacrifices that are made every day. Whether or not to eat is one of them,” said Peddle in the release. “CNA is appealing to the public to provide whatever they are able, whether it’s non-perishable food and personal hygiene supplies that can be dropped off to the campuses nearest where they live, or through monetary donations. Anything and everything is most appreciated.” Peddle says there are many ways to give, either locally at the campuses or through monetary donations via the college’s website: www.cna.nl.ca/give.