Santa's Workshop benefits new North Platte Community College food pantry

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte Community College hosted their 11th Annual Santa's Workshop Wednesday night and the cost to get in was a canned or non-perishable food item.

North Platte Community College Women's Softball and Women's Basketball teams hosted the 11th annual Santa's Workshop Wednesday night at the South Campus. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)

Santa's Workshop was hosted by the NPCC women's softball team and the NPCC women's basketball team.

The public was invited and enjoyed stations of cookie decorating, ring toss, pin the nose on the snowman, bowling, ornament making, snowman toss, coloring pages and of course, meeting Santa Claus.

Antonia Villani was one of the students helping with Santa's Workshop. She said it's great for the kids coming to the workshop, but also for the students.

"It is a great way to get kids out here playing games and it shows the college students that there is more than just going to school and playing a sport," said Villani, "There is people in this community that love to get involved with this college and it's a great way to get kids around other people that maybe live states away."

The food item required for entry at Santa's Workshop was given to the college's newest initiative, a campus food pantry.

NPCC is launching a food pantry to make sure their students have every opportunity to be prepared to learn without the worry of where their next meal is coming from.

NPCC's director of housing, Joshua York, said he hopes the pantry helps alleviate any food needs for the students. York said he went to a conference in San Antonio where he found out many college students experience food insecurities and it can affect their school work.

"There was a food study done which focused on students food needs not being met and what they ended up finding was 67% of community college students identify as food insecure meaning they are focused on where their next meal is coming from rather than maybe 100% in the classroom," said York.

York said the pantry will open in January. It will be set up in the new Learning Commons on the south campus. It will be open to all students, regardless of income, but students will be limited to how many times they can access available food.

Donations will also be accepted throughout the year. Items can be dropped off at either one of the Student Life offices on NPCC's north and south campuses.

Application forms will also be available at the Student Life offices and from PTK advisor Dr. Glynn Wolar and SKD advisor Kristine Leibhart.