Wright College Opens Food Pantry, Hopes No Student Goes Hungry

Andy Dahn
June 05, 2019 - 2:18 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Leaders at a local college are hoping a new food pantry will keep students fed and focused on their education.

Researchers estimate that as many as one-in-three community college students experience food insecurity over their education, said David Potash, President of Wright College.

The new, permanant food pantry at Wright College aims to change those numbers.

"Students should never be in a position where they have to choose between books or food," Potash said. "Taking this step and providing that additional step is a really important step for us to make sure our students don't ever have to face that difficult choice."

With help from the Greater Chicago Food Depository, City Colleges has set up on-site pantries at four other campuses, stocked with fruits and vegetables, as well as help and cooking tips from volunteers.

Nathaniel Maldonado, who graduated from Wright in May, is one of them.

"I was a full-time student and an employee, so I barely got by with paying rent," he said. "There were times I didn't have money for food, I was starving, but I was too scared to ask anyone for money. When I found out about this pantry, I took advantage of it."

Now, he's hoping to help students in similar situations, and said he may not have graduated without the pantry's help.

"As much as I dedicated myself to my studies, I think I would have fainted in class. I would have gotten sick. That would have ruined my academic performance."