SIFE food pantry open for fall


By Tabi Secor

The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) food pantry is still up and running after two years of successfully providing food to the campus community.

The college’s SIFE organization started the food pantry in OCB 272 after they won a contest sponsored by Campbell’s Soup Company. Colleges from all over the country participated and had to show how they would best utilize the food pantry. The college’s chapter won a grant for winning the competition.

“There were instances,” Lynn Richards, SIFE adviser, said. “For example, Food Services were finding that people didn’t have money to buy lunch.”

Richards said that he had students who previously inquired about places they might be able to get food.

“We determined there was a need,” said Richards.

In Johnson County, one in five full time employees makes $30,000 or less per year. And, between 2008 and 2010, the median income declined by 7 percent. The statistics, compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and released in a report by the United Community Services of Johnson County also showed that nearly 40,000 people lived in poverty in Johnson County in 2010.

Richards said they understand money is tight, and they want to be able to help.

Students involved with SIFE stock the food pantry and the school also receives money from the grant. The food pantry collected more than 5,000 pounds of food last year.

Even though there is no one around in the summer to replenish the pantry, people have been taking advantage the last few months.

“I know for a fact that people have come in and gotten food,” Richards said.

According to Stacey Allison, SIFE vice president, the pantry will be open for the fall.

“We want people to use it,” Allison said. “Anyone can go in. We don’t have any qualifications. We do ask that people sign their first name, and list how many people they’re buying for. That way we can keep track of how many people are using the pantry.”

One of SIFE’s goals for the pantry is to move it so that it will be more accessible to students. Right now it shares the space with adjunct professors.

“We would love to move it,” Allison said. “We just need someone to find the space for us. We would be able to utilize the pantry better if it were more accessible and in a bigger space.”

Along with re-opening the pantry, SIFE is preparing to put donation bins back up. There will be four or five them, spread across numerous campus buildings, including GEB.

“Our purpose is to provide food for people in need,” Richards said. “I want people to know that it’s there.”

If you would like to join SIFE, volunteer for the food pantry or donate, contact Lynn Richards at or at ext. 4695.  

Contact Tabi Secor, news editor, at


Related articles:

Staff editorial: Hidden hunger



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.