The Daily Gamecock

The Gamecock Pantry works to fulfill its vision

The Gamecock Pantry’s sole mission since its opening in November of last year is to serve and be utilized as a resource.

When Chase Mizzell, former student body president, sought out Claire Kimpton to share in his vision of what is now the Gamecock Pantry, Kimpton described it as a dream come true. Kimpton has since played a significant role in helping the pantry’s establishment.

“We established the pantry within a year. That’s a great feat for any organization whatsoever,” said Kimpton, the Gamecock Pantry’s director. “We’re keeping the focus on not just placing an impact, but on keeping things sustainable, and [also] community awareness.”

Every step the Pantry has taken toward that goal is progress in Kimpton’s eyes. With a lack of a large amount of consistent students utilizing the pantry, however, there exists a need that moves beyond the subject of hunger or need, but also breaking down stereotypes.

“I want students to really understand that there is really no difference between someone taking advantage of the pantry and you,” Kimpton said. “No student should be discriminated from using these resources.”

The Gamecock Pantry offers students the opportunity to receive aid for their food needs, and also provides assistance with finding other helpful resources they may need, such as health benefits. Students also have the chance to work with the pantry by volunteering or donating to the cause.

“There are a lot of students, staff and faculty that have shown great interest in working with Gamecock Pantry,” Kimpton said. “I want people to really see this as a medium of resources that
people can take advantage of without any hesitation or discrimination.”

Going into a new year, Kimpton said she hopes that the Pantry continues to grow and that students will serve and utilize the pantry with open minds about why they’re involved in it.

“I want the students who serve to get to know themselves a bit more through serving, not just because you have time to serve, or want something from this,” Kimpton said. “I want them to have that moment where they connect the time where they’ve helped someone and someone has helped them.”

Being a part of Gamecock Pantry has also shaped Kimpton’s life as she allowed her passion of helping others to shine through, and she continues to share that with other individuals.

“I think the most important thing is understanding the purpose of what I need to do,” Kimpton said. “I want to help others because so many others have helped me along the way. I realize that not everyone gives chances.”

For Kimpton, The Gamecock Pantry is a large stepping stone towards sustainability and community as it aims to raise awareness of the needs of the student body. Kimpton hopes that through the Gamecock Pantry’s assistance, students will have at least one less thing to worry about while trying to have a successful college experience.

“I want this thing to run forever,” Kimpton said. “I want students [to] say that it’s not just about the degree.”