Located in eastern North Carolina, James Sprunt Community College recently hosted a large food distribution event for its students, faculty and staff.
As part of the grant-funded program from the non-profit organization Single Stop, James Sprunt partnered with the organization and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to distribute pallets of food to the James Sprunt community for two hours.
Since its inception in May 2016, the program has served more than 400 James Sprunt students, according to ABC-affiliate station WTCI12. Single Stop aims to establish a one-stop shop that connects students with the help they may need in order to meet their basic needs outside of the classroom that will help them succeed inside the classroom. The program is located in the Student Success Center in the campus’ Hoffler Building.
The community college also hosted a resource fair during the event that helped the James Sprunt students, faculty and staff learn about agencies in the area and other local resources that can provide services with things such as transportation, counseling, housing and substance abuse.
James Sprunt hosts smaller food distributions for students, called The Spartan’s Table, every month.
“The need for fresh food and pantry items continues to grow among our students, faculty, and staff, many of who are still displaced following Hurricane Florence,” the school said in a press release. “Even before Hurricane Florence, many Duplin County residents struggled to keep food on the table.”
Several areas of Duplin County are classified as “food deserts,” or areas where access to food is difficult, financially and geographically, with many citizens having to travel more than 20 miles to go to the nearest grocery store, the press release said.
The poverty level in Duplin County is approximately 28 percent, and nearly 20 percent of its residents experience food insecurity.
The community college annually serves over 5,000 students from its Kenansville and WestPark campuses and three specialized centers.