The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Park-It Market keeps relieving students’ grocery needs

Mobile pantry offers students supplies as inflation rises
Allan Galeana
Students collecting groceries from the mobile pantry on May 14 in front of the Registration and Student Services building.

The Park-It Market returned to De Anza College with another successful visit on May 14, giving students, who are in need or low on certain produce, groceries. The mobile pantry comes to campus multiple times a month, distributing food to students.

Those who attended the pantry on wheels had access to potatoes, carrots, onions, bread, whole frozen chickens and more.

The need for food is apparent because as prices of items constantly increase, people lose access to certain items they previously could afford. Systems like the mobile market help students with maintaining a proper diet and give them one less thing to think about at an already hectic point in life.

This is about the eighth year of this program’s existence and it has worked successfully with relatively little issues. This is due, in part, to the collaboration between West Valley Community Services and De Anza, said Donald Akimoto, a system manager of mobile operations for WVCS.

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Students collecting groceries from the mobile pantry on May 14 in front of the Registration and Student Services building. (Allan Galeana)

“We’ve had a great collaboration with the student services department and we run a good team,” Akimoto said.

The usage of a well organized crew keeps the wait times low letting more students have the opportunity to collect food.

The crew handled the operation well for the hour it ran, and there were no issues that halted or slowed down the process.

Akimoto said that the mobile pantry is in high demand by students in the community.

“It’s shown that there’s a need out here,” Akimoto said. “The need (for the mobile pantry) is obvious by the number of the people out here today.”

The main issue that does affect the mobile market is word of mouth. The average number of students visiting is 80 to 90, but there is a stigma of getting free food from the mobile pantry, said Sujatha Venkatraman, WVCS executive director.

A wide variety of students come with different needs and reasons.

Aung Sitt Han,19, electrical engineer, is a foreign student who has gone to the pantry four times and encourages students to use the service. Students that keep visiting and take advantage of the services provided by De Anza and WVCS show the district that services like this should stay around.

“Come here grab the food … it’s really convenient,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to spend money on the grocery or supermarket. You can save some money for fun and get the free food here”.

The convenience of being able to grab groceries right after classes are finished is a reason to stop by.

The pantry comes twice a month every second and fourth week of the month from 2 p.m to 3 p.m.

Each visit has been successful in its goal of distributing food. In the visit there was not a shortage of any food that was available for distribution that day.

When asked about how De Anza could spread information about the mobile market’s schedule, Daniel Francisco from the Bill Wilson Center said people can make more announcements, share more fliers and have professors tell students about the services De Anza offers.

The service is run by Nazy Galoyan, dean of enrollment services.

She said that food shortages during the visit have never been an issue for the pantry because of the support systems in place from West Valley Community Services and Second Harvest. These organizations help ensure that the amount of food is enough for students.

Nazy Galoyan, dean of enrollment services in front of the Registration and Student Services building on May 14, while overseeing the mobile pantry. (Allan Galeana)

When asked about the future of the mobile pantry and programs similar to it, Galoyan said that they are planning for a new location on campus.

“We’re in the process of moving to a new location … it is going to be in the Campus Center’s ground level in the cafeteria,“ Galoyan said. ”The plan is to create something like a grocery store on campus that makes the pantry more accessible to students who couldn’t show up.”

The estimated month for its completion is November, with the plans already in motion.

For those students that aren’t able to come to the pantry, it also has 26 locations around campus that supply snacks for students and are stocked at least once a month.

As time passes, food gets more expensive and programs like this help relieve a meaningful amount of the increasing financial burdens.

”By November hopefully we’re gonna move into an ideal world,” Galoyan said.

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About the Contributor
Allan Galeana
Allan Galeana, Staff Reporter
I am interested in journalism because of the usefulness of being able to inform people on subjects in a short amount of time. My hope for this quarter is to start writing articles in general but more specifically sports articles.

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