We raised $1.5 million of the $1 million goal, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the need grows.
Why it’s time to think urgent need first
Learning can be impossible when you’re hungry or homeless. These (often hidden) barriers cause PCC students to make tough choices – do they continue their studies or do they abandon them to tend to the fundamentals of living?
“I’ve seen a lot of tears. I’ve hugged more people than I can count. I’m proud that I can help serve my fellow students so they can stay focused in class and help keep their families fed.” LaTonya Freauf, Wintz Family Foundation Scholarship recipient and food pantry coordinator
Student need goes beyond tuition, fees, or books
Far too many students are navigating a tightrope where just one obstacle can cause their educational dreams to collapse. PCC wants students to succeed, and we believe that to be able to do that, students need to have their basic needs met.
PCC is responding by tackling this issue head-on – seeing more than just the serious and immediate need, but also working to address the larger and more complex barriers. The Foundation supports a variety of programs that are working tirelessly to provide for our students when they most need it.
Examples from students requesting emergency aid
- “I am currently experiencing an unanticipated crisis due to a back injury and resulting loss of work. I am in danger of losing my housing, which would prevent me from being able to attend PCC in the upcoming term.”
- “I have recently left an abusive relationship with the person who was supporting me financially. I am waiting to start a new job in two weeks, and have found a new housing situation, but I need help in the meantime.”
- “A $300 rent increase has left me short on gas, food, and school supplies.”
Living expenses are educational expenses
of PCC students report having experienced food insecurity
of PCC students have children
is the average commute due to lack of close, affordable housing
of community college students report having experienced housing insecurity
Emergency grants help students persist
“Everyday, PCC provides students with access to free, healthy food – and lets them know it’s okay to ask for help. Because of your donation, students don’t have to bear the burden of food insecurity alone.” Venus Barnes, PCC alumna and AmeriCorps Learning Garden coordinator
How PCC supports urgent student need
Food pantries at each PCC campus, help connect students – not only to food, but to a range of services that build longer-term stability so students can stay in school and be successful. The Panther Pantries are places where students can access food, gently-used clothing, hygiene products, emergency bus passes, or applications for child care subsidies. With Foundation support, PCC partners with Oregon Food Bank to stock our pantries with no-cost snacks, meals and groceries for about 6,000 students last year, but still the need persists.
With support from the PCC Foundation Board of Directors and donors, this past year, the Foundation began awarding small emergency grants – already disbursing almost $30,000.The majority of the aid has been in rent (40%), various expenses like medical bills (35%), utilities (15%) and transportation (10%). But the need is still much greater than funds available.
Research shows this immediate fast and responsive support helps students persist, with students benefiting from both the money and the awareness that someone cares enough about them to invest in their educational success.
Help students focus on their goals
The PCC Foundation’s first campaign, The Campaign for Opportunity, aims to raise $30 million to support students on their path to prosperity by providing resources that increase access and success.