Kellogg Community College will celebrate Giving Tuesday Nov. 30 with a donation drive to help address student food insecurity on campus. Below is a Q&A post focused on food insecurity and food insecurity initiatives at KCC from alumna Talia Claucherty, who regularly donated to the College’s Bruin Basket food pantry initiative while a student at KCC in 2019.
What years did you attend KCC? When did you graduate, and what was your major?
I attended KCC from August 2018 to December 2019. My major was Education.
What are you doing now after KCC?
I joined the Illinois Air National Guard in my hometown. This allows me to attend Illinois State University debt-free. I spent the last year in training and plan to start classes again this spring semester.
What food insecurity initiative did you participate in at KCC? What was the nature of your participation?
I was taking two electives through the gym in 2019 and noticed there was a food cart designated for people that needed a little something extra to get through the day. It was really amazing to know someone spent the time and money to help out. The sign said it took donations and I realized there weren’t any fruits or anything, so I went shopping with that in mind. I’m big on nutrition after all.
It started out with a bag of apples. They were gone the next day, so I grabbed another and two bunches of bananas. The fruit always ran out fast, so nothing ever went to waste. Every Monday I would bring in two three-pound bags of apples and two bunches of bananas, and sometimes some mac and cheese or ramen.
As a college student, I couldn’t afford much else, but I was always happy to help those who didn’t have grandparents like mine in their lives (no rent or car bills AND the occasional homemade casserole). After that semester I moved home to pursue my teaching career at ISU.
Why did you decide to volunteer to support food insecurity programming at KCC?
It honestly just seemed nice, and I feel like fruits and vegetables are overlooked for their price. When it’s $5 of cheeseburgers vs. $5 of apples? Obviously the cheeseburger wins out.
What is something you learned through participating in food insecurity initiatives at KCC? What was your favorite part?
I learned how much college students like apples and bananas when they’re available. My favorite part was saying hello to the staff in the gym office every Monday.
What impact do you hope the Bruin Basket and other food insecurity initiatives can have on the greater KCC community?
I hope students come out of KCC knowing how much programs like this shaped peoples lives. When someone is guided through hard times, they’re more likely to help someone else in the same way later on.
What is something you think people should know about food insecurity or KCC’s Food Insecurity Task Force initiatives on campus?
It’s the little things. I know the thought of helping everyone with food insecurity is daunting, but I like to take it a bag of apples at a time.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you to all the wonderful teachers and staff at KCC. You made me want to teach at a community college because I know I can make a difference for my students like you did for me.
Giving Tuesday is Nov. 30. Click here for more information about Giving Tuesday at KCC or visit kellogg.edu/donate to donate today.