Wake Tech students pack food for classmates going hungry as government shutdown continues

WAKE CO., N.C. (WTVD) -- Students at Wake Tech took two hours out of their morning to stuff bags with food for other students.

Food insecurity on campus is on the rise since the beginning of the government shutdown.

"I think it's a good opportunity for me to help someone that may be in need," student Shanita Kemp said.

Student volunteers packed 600 bags with breakfast items like pancakes mix and granola bars for Wake Tech's food pantry, the Nest.

"I wanted a chance to help out my community and I think this is a really good opportunity for me to do that," student Emily Michaud said.

Michaud knows now is the time to give back. Many students receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It's a benefit provided by the federal government and many students rely on it for food. Those students received their last round of benefits earlier this week. Now, they won't see those benefits again until the end of the government shutdown.

"We just have students who are attending class and they can't really pay attention in class if you don't have a full belly," Wake Tech spokesperson Meriel Klem said.

With 41 percent of Wake Tech's students already experiencing food insecurity, it's likely that number will rise as the shutdown continues. But these students know any little bit helps.

"I just want to make sure that the kids that I'm going to school with and everyone is able to get their meals and have a good day," Michaud said.

All 600 bags are all will be distributed to students in need this week.
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