Group seeks items for food pantry

Legal Professions Assoc. taking donations to assist fellow Del Mar students

Del Mar’s Legal Professions Association is putting together an on-campus project to assist the Viking Food Pantry. 

The group is seeking donations of canned food, hygiene products, baby formula and other items for the drive, which runs through March 11.

The Viking Food Pantry began in 2019 and has since grown to assist hundreds of students per year.

Students are able to get up to 35 pounds of food twice a month as well as toiletries and other hygiene items. Classroom supplies such as erasers and pencils are also available.

“We don’t count the personal items … it doesn’t count towards the weight of their food,” said Lisa Leal-Garcia, coordinator of Student Engagement and Retention. 

To apply for food panty assistance, DMC students can either scan a QR code posted in front of the Viking Food Pantry door in the Harvin Center or apply online by going to the DMC website, using their student login, and clicking on a link to “begin their referral process.” 

Basic information is required to be approved. Students will receive an email, using the email they provided during the referral process, and select a time slot to pick up from the pantry.

Appointments times are from noon to 5 p.m. and students are limited to two visits per month.

The 30-minute time slots give students privacy to shop at their leisure.

First-time students are given a reusable blue Vikings bag to carry the food items. 

Staff offers a pushcart to help carry the food items to recipients’ vehicles if necessary.

“We will accommodate them. We don’t want anyone not to get what they need,” Leal-Garcia said.

During the 2019 pandemic, the pantry made it possible to deliver food to students by creating curbside pickups. 

Since life has largely returned to normal, the food pantry has made in-shopping adjustments. With providing students with its health and hygiene products, Vikings Food Pantry is adding more convenience to its students in 2023.

Leal-Garcia said the college soon will provide lockers as a pickup option.

“If someone is late or in a program … we can put them in a locker with the combination and they then can get their food at their convenience,” Leal-Garcia said.

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