(From left) Greater Chicago Food Depository Vice President of Community Impact Nicole Robinson, Prince the Panther, Olive-Harvey College President Kimberly Hollingsworth, Cook County Sheriff's Department Special Assistant John Rosales, Olive-Harvey College Wellness Center Director Tyler Wurst, and City Colleges of Chicago Deputy Stacia Edwards stand in front of the school's new food pantry, which opened Wednesday morning. Credit: PROVIDED.

PULLMAN — Olive-Harvey College faculty, students and staff were joined by school mascot Prince the Panther this week to celebrate the opening of a new on-site food pantry.

City Colleges of Chicago has been working with the Greater Chicago Food Depository for the last year to address food insecurity among its student body by turning on-campus pop-up shops to permanent food pantries.

With the opening of the Olive-Harvey pantry, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave., all City Colleges now have free groceries available for students.

Students at Olive-Harvey will have access to the pantry three days a week. PROVIDED.

As with the other campus pantries, students will have a variety of fruits, vegetables, canned goods and toiletries to choose from, free of charge.

The school will open the pantry to students three days a week, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

In Englewood, Kennedy-King College’s food pantry, 6301 S. Halsted St., has been open for about two months and the response has been “wonderful,” according to Remona Gavin, assistant to the dean of student services.

“The word of mouth is really getting out, so they’re coming in and grabbing food. The students are very amazed by how well it’s structured, and how good the products are,” she said.

City Colleges hopes these pantries help students who are struggling financially stay on track with their school work. According to a 2016 study of low-income college students, 53 percent of students facing food insecurity and housing instability have missed class; 54 percent have missed important study sessions and 55 percent did not purchase textbooks.

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