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Northwest Iowa Community College takes on student hunger with the ‘Thunder Cupboard’

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thunder cupboard

SHELDON, Iowa (KTIV) - No college student should ever have to choose between their education or food, but for some students that is not an option.

"We didn't want that to be the case here at Northwest Iowa Community College. So we had a group of employees that decided to come together and figure out a way that we could easily give some accessible non-perishable food to some of our students at a moment's notice," said Director of College Advancement Kristi Landis.

So they created the 'Thunder Cupboard,' named after their mascot 'Thunder' the mountain lion.

The efforts began last June, right when then the COVID-19 pandemic was first sweeping the nation.

"Efforts for us ramped up when COVID hit, because we knew our students were getting their hours cut at work, or unemployed. So we wanted to make sure they didn't have any issues as they return back to schooling, and we could make this as seamless as possible," said Landis.

The local Hy-Vee teamed up with the school to help supply the school with cereal, pasta, pasta sauce, and peanut butter and jelly.

The idea is to supply the student with an emergency bag to get through at least one day, and inside the bag is a card filled with other local resources that can be of further support while they are struggling.

Other food items come from donations through school employees or food drives held at the school. And Landis said the appreciation is immense.

"They're wanting to know how they can pay it back in the future. You see them on campus and they know us by face and they are always so super grateful for everything we're doing to hep them get along with their program studies," said Landis.

Landis said they are proud of the program and expect it to continue to grow.

If you would like to make a donation, you can call the school at (712) 324-5061.

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Leslie London

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