Food Pantry Distribution Expanding to Thursday Evenings | Thomas Nelson Community College

Food Pantry Distribution Expanding to Thursday Evenings

March 11, 2021
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Thomas Nelson’s nursing students are required to perform volunteer hours, and many of them have been helping out at the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank. When the College added a night and weekend nursing cohort, that posed minor problems because the food bank isn’t open evenings.

“We had this great idea that we could partner with Thomas Nelson’s food bank,” said nursing professor Karen Lynch.

Leading the effort was another nursing professor, Marilou Wilder, who deserves the credit, Lynch said.

“We met with Richard (Hurst) and Betsy (Harrison), and we came up with a plan to assist with the food bank on Thursday evenings for the rest of this semester, and then the fall,” Lynch said.

Since the spring, Thomas Nelson’s food bank, the Care Team Cupboard, has been operating on a pick-up basis only in front of the Hampton III Building. However, there aren’t regular days or times.

“We try to vary the times so people with differing schedules can attend,” said Hurst, a counselor at the College who purchases the food from the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank and then brings it to the College to be distributed to faculty, staff, students and anyone else who asks for assistance.

Dr. Harrison, Dean of Student Services, said those daytime distributions will continue.

The Thursday evening hours, from 5-7 p.m. also in front of the Hampton III Building, are an additional opportunity to take advantage of the service. The night and weekend nursing students will be packaging and distributing the food on Thursdays as part of their volunteer hours. And it’s convenient for them because the Hampton III Building is where many of their classes are held.

It’s right on campus, it’s right there, same building. It’s just a win-win,” Hurst said.

Harrison noted in an email to the Thomas Nelson community that it’s a team effort.

“A very special thanks to all of you who have helped make this possible,” Harrison said. “Nursing students gain community service hours, and food is distributed to our students.”

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Care Team Cupboard, you can do so at, or when you make an online purchase through