Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Manna Food Pantries is once again helping Pensacola State College students in need.
Beginning Aug. 1, Manna Food Pantries will provide 200 bags of food every two weeks to the College. Each bag contains five days of nutritional meals, and a student can receive up to six bags every two weeks to feed other members of their household. PSC Career Service employees can receive food.
“We’re very grateful to Manna Food Pantries and appreciate this partnership,” said Andrea Krieger, executive director of Institutional Development. “Manna has always assisted the College when we needed help, but this partnership will ensure that our students and their family members are taken care of when it comes to food resources.”
Each food bag is valued at $25, which means Manna is supporting the College with $10,000 worth of food each month.
Manna’s mission is to offer emergency food assistance, service the food-related needs of vulnerable populations, and engage the entire community in the fight against hunger.
“It’s a very generous commitment,” Krieger said. “But our students now are facing uncertain circumstances and challenges that students never had to face before.”
A spring semester survey found that 50 percent of PSC students who responded had lost jobs or were worried about losing jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The food bags will be distributed to all PSC campuses and centers to provide food at the location most convenient to students in need.
The PSC Milton campus will receive 80 bags every two weeks. Pensacola and Warrington campuses will each receive 40 bags and South Santa Rosa Center and Century Center will each received 20 bags. Students must be currently enrolled and have a valid PSC ID to receive food.
“Our desire is for these students to continue their education and stay in class and better themselves,” said Dee Dee Flounlacker, Manna Food Pantries executive director. “Hopefully this can help alleviate any concerns students have about food, for themselves or their family members.”
Each bag will contain various food items and will be as “nutritional as possible,” Flounlacker added.
“We’re trying to provide the healthiest food we can” she said. “There will be breakfast items, such as oatmeal, as well as peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned chicken, rice and pasta and more.”
Flounlacker said it is important to help not only the students, but their family members.
“It’s important that each household has enough food,” she said. “Because if there is not enough food for everyone in the household, that’s going to affect the student.”
Flounlacker said the partnership is now “open ended” and the amount of food delivered to each campus or center can change based on need.
“We’re going to be as flexible as we can,” she said.
PSC conducts food drives throughout the year, with all food donated to Manna, which relies solely on donations.
A major event each year is the Clover Pick A Bowl, Fill A Bowl fundraiser, named for former PSC Visual Arts instructor Bill Clover, who taught at the college for more than a half century. Clover, who died in 2018, was a long-time Manna volunteer.
Clover was a major force with the Pick A Bowl, Fill A Bowl events, and helped Manna raise nearly $300,000. He and his students made more than 6,500 bowls for the annual fundraiser. This year’s Clover Pick A Bowl Fill A Bowl fundraiser is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Pensacola State College Lou Ross Center.
“Manna is such a great community partner, and a great partner to Pensacola State College,” Krieger said. “They have always stepped up to help those in need, including our students.”
PHOTO: Back in April, Pensacola State’s Richard Whatley helped load food donated by Manna Food Pantries that was earmarked for the College’s students in need.