Food and Resource Center Grand Opening

Partnership with The Open Door celebrated on campus

Inver Hills Community College hosted a grand opening and open house for the college’s new Food and Resource Center. The event was held Thursday afternoon, August 26, 2021, in the College Center on the college’s campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Attendees included Michael Berndt, Inver Hills president, and Kari Rusch-Curl, interim vice president of student affairs, who both delivered opening remarks to a gathering of college deans, staff, faculty, students and visitors.

Also present were representatives from The Open Door, a hunger-relief organization based in Dakota County, including Jason Viana, executive director, Adam Hoffman, mobile food program manager, Annie Gentilini, communications and events coordinator, and Sara Garcia, mobile food program coordinator.

Shannon Williams, Inver Hills community-based learning coordinator, and Nicole Bietz, Inver Hills counselor, welcomed everyone to the event. Shannon and Nicole worked closely with Adam Hoffman to establish the Food and Resource Center on campus. After delivering remarks, Nicole presented the 2021 Presidents’ Community Partner Award to Adam, who accepted on behalf of The Open Door.

“I am very pleased to see this installment of an on campus food pantry at Inver Hills,” Adam said. “I look forward to the ongoing partnership we have, and I most certainly look forward to providing fresh and healthy food for the students and staff of Inver Hills for years to come!”

Jason Viana from The Open Door delivered remarks before the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This partnership will make fresh and healthy food easily accessible to anyone on campus who needs it,” Jason said. “The commitment of Nicole, Shannon and the Inver Hills leadership to make this project a reality shows how much they care for their students. We are truly grateful for their partnership and their willingness to be creative.”

Jason Viana

Inver Hills perspectives…

“The Food and Resource Center is the tangible result of all the student leaders, faculty, staff and administrators who care deeply about students. I believe everyone should have access to food and education. I’m proud to be able to work on the new center as a way to advance the ideal of food and education for everyone.

“Anyone can access the Food and Resource Center. There are no criteria or eligibility requirements to meet, and no limit on the frequency of visits or quantity of resources.

“Thanks to The Open Door, we will have fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy in the center, as well as fresh produce from our campus community garden.”

Shannon Williams
Community-Based Learning Coordinator
Inver Hills Community College

“I am so thankful to see this pantry completed. The vision for a permanent food pantry on campus has been something that we have hoped and dreamed about for many years and I am thrilled to be able to provide this resource for our campus.

“The space would not be possible without our incredible, ongoing partnership with The Open Door. Our students often come to us juggling so many responsibilities and life stressors. This pantry is one tangible way we can help alleviate their stress and help them to focus their energy on their coursework, rather than worrying about providing food for themselves or their families.”

Nicole Bietz
Inver Hills Community College

Food and Resource Center grand opening gallery

View the Inver Flicker album for more event photos:

Food and Resource Center Grand Opening

More about the Food and Resource Center

Attention students!

We have opened the new, permanent Food and Resource Center on the second floor of the College Center. The Food and Resource Center will include fresh produce along with shelf-stable, nonperishable items. The center will be open to all students. Please check the Food and Resource Center web page for further updates regarding hours of operation and other details.

If you need help finding additional community resources for perishable food, food banks and housing insecurity, or have other financial concerns that are affecting your academic performance, please contact:

Inver Hills Counseling Department

You may be eligible for emergency financial assistance grants or other resources.

Food and Resource Center walk-in hours

Monday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed 11:30 a.m. – noon)
Thursday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Closed holidays and days classes are not in session. If you would like to pick up food items outside these hours, please email Shannon Williams to make a request.

Additional food resources for Inver Hills students

More about The Open Door

A fresh approach to ending local hunger through access to healthy food.

The Open Door is a hunger-relief organization based in Dakota County making fresh and healthy food available to more than 14,000 people each month through its combination of a bricks-and-mortar food shelf and a collection of neighborhood-based programs.

Since the onset of COVID-19 and its economic impact, the organization has scaled its operations to serve more than double the number of community members in an effort to meet increased demand using the flexibility of its Mobile Food Programs.

The Open Door has the only Mobile Food Pantry in Dakota County, serving sites in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville and Rosemount.

Financial challenges, mobility issues, and a lack of transportation impact thousands of seniors and families across Dakota County and limit their access to vital nutrition. The Open Door designed their collection of Mobile Food Programs to take fresh and healthy food directly into the parts of the community where it is needed most.

Learn more about the new Food and Resource Center at Inver Hills by contacting:

Shannon Williams
Community-Based Learning Coordinator

Nicole Bietz

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