Unfortunately, some will view it as a handout. On the contrary, the food pantry just established for students who attend Kankakee Community College is a hand up.

As faculty and administrators at KCC found evidence that obtaining nutritious food is a challenge for a sizable percentage of its student body, they moved to correct the problem. The fruits of their labor became apparent today, when a grand opening for the food pantry was held.

Now, any KCC student can use the pantry no questions asked. Why is this so important?

Because a large number of these students, regardless of age, are attending college to improve their prospects and build a better future. A major motivation behind this goal is simple — their current lot in life leaves something to be desired, and an investment in higher education often leaves them short on money to pay for other necessities such as food.

Given a choice between the two, a good many take the approach Michael Boyd, vice president for instruction and student success at Kankakee Community College, envisioned in a front-page story that appeared Tuesday.

“I can’t imagine what it would be like to wake up in the morning and know you have an important exam that determines whether or not you can continue in the nursing program or whether you can get that manufacturing degree, and you wake up and open your cupboard at home and there’s nothing there. So you say, ‘OK, power through it and get through the day.'”

That power is a lot easier to call upon when its reinforced by a healthy dose of protein. Thank heavens for what KCC is doing to provide it.

The KCC food pantry is in the Arts and Sciences Building, room R312 and it is open for KCC students. Donations are being accepted for nonperishable food in the white bins near the first-floor information desk, and monetary donations to the pantry can be made to the KCC Foundation.

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