Lakeland Foundation Friday Update
TO: Lakeland Foundation Board and Friends FROM: Greg Sanders
During a recent trip over to the college’s A-Building to meet with our Financial Aid colleagues, I noticed that the door to the recently relocated Lakeland Cares Cupboard in A-1001 was open. Having not yet seen the new space in person, I popped my head inside. I was met with a student’s friendly smile and was shown around a space that was bright, warm, and welcoming. It was stocked with canned goods, fresh produce, frozen meats, personal care items, all available – at no cost and with no questions – to any of our students who find themselves unable to meet their daily basic needs. (A goal of the Lakeland Cares Cupboard is to be able to provide a three-day supply of food to any student in need.)
About four years ago, the idea of having food available for Lakeland students in need was promoted and supported by a college trustee and Foundation board member at that time – our great friend, Ken Quiggle. Ken witnessed this need as he volunteered to serve meals to students during finals week and heard the statistics and stories reported by staff at board meetings. To him, the reality that there were Lakeland students who were working so hard to improve their lives through education but struggled every day to meet even their most basic needs was untenable.
Ken, however, is a man of action, and was determined to turn an obstacle into an initiative. He established the Ken Quiggle “End Student Hunger Now” Fund at The Lakeland Foundation to provide ongoing support for the Lakeland Cares Cupboard and related student hunger efforts. What began as a small room within the college has grown into a dedicated space just inside the main entrance in one of the most highly traversed areas by students on campus.
As word of the new Lakeland Cares Cupboard spread, our donors, employees, and community friends heeded the call. Meijer in Mentor provided new shelving units, which increased and improved the storage space available for nonperishables and personal items. They also made a significant donation of grocery gift certificates for students seeking assistance at the Cares Cupboard. The Western Reserve Junior Service League granted funding to the Foundation to purchase a large refrigerator and a freezer, greatly expanding the capacity to stock fresh, nutritious food and enabling us in turn to partner with the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, which allows the college to purchase food for the Cares Cupboard at an extremely discounted rate. Hundreds of donors have made individual gifts and Lakeland employees have designated support through payroll deduction to ensure we can continue to help alleviate the very real physical and mental toll that hunger takes on students who face these obstacles as they navigate the path to academic success.
The college staff that oversees the Cares Cupboard is planning for a “grand opening” of its new space in Rm A-1001 this fall. Stay tuned to these weekly Updates for more information on that as it’s available.
And if you have an interest in touring the new space in person or supporting the Cares Cupboard, I’m one email away.
As always, thank you for all you do for our community college. Wishing you a wonderful, warm weekend.