St. Petersburg College student volunteers are working hard in the community to help feed Pinellas families. The college’s Office of Volunteer Services in partnership with the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement help connect students, faculty, and staff with community organizations that help the hungry.
Volunteers making a difference
Last year SPC students, faculty and staff collected more than five thousand pounds of food to stock local food pantries. They also helped with the Pack a Sack program which provides weekend food for more than 500 hungry children in the community. SPC volunteers have also worked with food pantries like The Kind Mouse which serves over three hundred kids per week. Here are a few of the volunteers that are making a difference in Tampa Bay.
SPC faculty member Dr. Willie Felton serves on the board of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. The clinic maintains a food pantry, and serves dinner six nights a week. The clinic serves as the largest emergency food distributor in Pinellas County, providing food to 65 partner agencies a week, and distributing more than three million pounds of food per week. Dr. Joseph Smiley, Dean of Social Sciences and Human Services, serves as a director at the Safehouse Food Pantry in Clearwater.
Volunteer Coordinator Yalonda Tearett says it is baffling to learn about student hunger when there are community resources available. “Often, an individual is denied state or federal agency’s service due to specific requirements or grapples with requesting assistance altogether,” she said. “There must be a better way for our students to gain access to placing food on their families’ tables and allow them to focus on their college studies. The fight to eliminate hunger must continue until our households, communities, and the nation are no longer struggling to satisfy a basic need – food!”