MARIETTA—The food pantry at Washington State Community College (WSCC) will be nicely stocked thanks to a grant from a local food chain giant, Walmart of Marietta. General Manager Josh Wagner presented the WSCC Foundation with a $2,500 check to support the ongoing efforts to assist students with food insecurities.
“Strong businesses help communities thrive; likewise, strengthening communities help businesses thrive. Serving the community lies at the heart of Walmart’s mission statement, ‘Save people money, and help them live better,’” said Wagner. “We aim to create value in the community and providing opportunities for the community is a large piece of that. Your Marietta Walmart is proud to have partnered with Washington State to provide this opportunity to the local community.”
This year alone, WSCC’s pantry is helping nearly 50 students and their families. In total, the non-profit has distributed more than 400 boxes of food to WSCC students. “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity Walmart Marietta has shown to the WSCC Food Pantry in donating funds that help put food on the table for struggling students and their families,” said Megan Hardway, WSCC’s Director of Foundation and Development. “They are truly valued partners during this time of need for our pantry.”
Washington State started its pantry in 2020. Hardway described the timing as perfect because “no one could have forecast that the world would be shuttered in 2020.” She went on to say, “It was fortunate that we had our pantry in place because so many of our students were in dire need of help.”
Hardway went on to explain that the need for the pantry has only grown since its initial opening. “In just two short years, we’ve doubled the number of students that we’re helping. The growing demand means the pantry shelves need replenished more often.” She added that soaring inflation rates have been a major factor in the increased demand.
The higher cost of living isn’t only impacting students, however. Hardway said stocking the pantry costs more than ever before. Previously, the Foundation could subsidize a student’s groceries for about $150 a month; however, that figure is quickly moving closer to $200. “Without the support of our generous donors and grants from organizations like Walmart, continuing this project would be impossible.”