‘Panther’s Pantry’ providing free food, toiletries to college students in need

Project Thanksgiving

Tucked away on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth is the ‘Panther’s Pantry.’

It provides students, who may not know where their next meal will come from, with daily snacks.

“I usually come like every two days and check to see if there’s new stuff, like noodles,” said student Darlie Louicius. “I will bring them home to eat.”

Students can also take home up to ten pounds of food each week.

“Many of them are coming out of high school where they were able to use the free lunch programs there and then they lost that benefit coming to college,” explained Jeannie Hoban, the director of the college's student counseling center. “Then, a lot of our nontraditional students are working and they have families and they’re trying hard to make ends meet.”

The shelves haven’t always been fully stocked.

Hoban says they started with just a cabinet in the counseling center.

Then, it expanded to a closet with toiletries also offered.

The need has grown so much, in September they started operating out of a full-size classroom on campus.

Since then, Hoban said they have severed hundreds of students.

“We have served over 350 students which was really shocking even to us,” Hoban said.

For the first time this year, Panther’s Pantry will be a recipient of Project Thanksgiving, a collaboration between CBS12 News and the United Way of Palm Beach County.

Students are set to receive Publix gift cards, thanks to the community’s generosity.

“We are on holiday break so they might not be able to come in here so if we can give them something to be able to take home and have a Thanksgiving meal it just means the world,” Hoban said.

If you would like to help make a difference this holiday season for families and students in need, you can donate by clicking here.

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