CELEBRATING VOLUNTEERS: Jillian Sole

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WHITE HALL, W.Va.- Across the country, food pantries are popping up to help students when financial aid and other campus resources fall short.

For this month’s celebrating volunteer segment we introduce you to a Marion County woman who started a pantry at a local college.

“The students a couple of months ago came up with a nickname, they started calling me mom. You know because mom’s make sure the kids have food and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Jillian Sole got the idea to start a food pantry when a student approached her and said she was hungry.

“The thought of somebody going hungry, that shouldn’t happen. We should have a better way of helping and doing what we can and this is my little way of helping,” explained Sole.

Pierpont Pride Food Pantry started a year ago and serves 30-50 students a week.

“I just always kept granola bars, crackers, whatever I just always had stuff there. Then I saw the need was much bigger than what I could do in a single drawer, so we opened it up to cabinet and of course now we’re a full blown kitchen.”

The pantry has become a lifeline for some students.

“A lot of them use it for breakfast or lunch or maybe just a snack in between classes. We have multiple families that pack up stuff to take back to their homes for their children and we have students that pack up stuff to take back to their dorms.”

Jillian credits generous donors like the Life United Methodist Church and her family’s support for the pantry’s success.

“I honestly could not have done this without my family’s support. My husband and my kids do a lot to help me with this and we have a huge support from the faculty and staff here at Pierpont. Without the support we would not be able to do this.”

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