A Wednesday morning brings an overflowing delivery that requires all hands on deck to help bring fresh produce and other goods into the Pirates’ Cove.
This is the second year that the food pantry at Orange Coast College has been in its relocated spot in Journalism 108. The pantry offers students free food, hygiene products, on the go snacks and even flowers.
“We’re just like a regular grocery store now and we are able to make a bigger impact on campus,” Megan Lattimer, student resource specialist said.
Not only does the pantry have fresh produce, hygiene products and other essentials, but they now have enough products and partners that they have more food and variety than ever before, according to Allison Cuff, student resource specialist for Pirates’ Cove.
A new spring semester for the Cove means new partners are assisting the pantry in getting all the necessary supplies every week. According to Cuff, when the pantry was new they would run out of food quickly and have to close down for the day because they did not have the resources they needed to feed everyone in need.
“This semester we are just trying to not run out of food,” Cuff said. “We are getting 264 students a day so we are starting to get back to the numbers we had last semester.”
With just as many students as it had at the end of the fall semester, the Cove can now get extra supplies from what is currently a storage room. Inside the room that will later be used or expanded, there are boxes of jelly beans, breads and boxes filled with a variety of supplies ready to take space on the shelves once they become bare.
Pirates’ Cove needs an extra room because of the large amount of partners they have gained. The Cove now has over five partners that assist in ensuring there is always enough food for those in need at OCC.
“Now we get a large balance of goods and I’m glad it’s all moving in the right direction,” Cuff said. “We don’t just have sliced bread anymore — now we have choices like jalapeno bread.”
One of the new partners of the pantry is Helping Hand Worldwide, which was created to help end world hunger and to create positive change in the world.
Not only does the new semester bring new partners, but now they have added a new staff member to the Cove. Tuan Vo, administrative assistant of Pirates’ Cove, is the new addition to the pantry. Vo is not only there to help students find the products they need but he is a certified mental health counselor and assists students with CalFresh applications.
“I’m here to help people live a better life and to help them move forward,” Vo said.
The Cove is now receiving flowers from one of their partners and they are free for anyone to take.
According to Cuff, the Cove will have more room with an expansion by the end of February. The door to the extra room will be removed so the students may enter and see a wall of professional clothes, accessories and shoes for those who are in need of new clothes for an interview. This will be the relocation of the Clothing Closet on the fourth floor of Watson Hall.
“We are here to take the resources given to us and give it back to those who need it,” Vo said. “We help people get the resources they need and show that OCC cares.”
The Pirates’ Cove is located in Journalism 108 and is open Monday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.