Help is Here

Teshan Laucirica


The rent on your apartment went up again, your ORCA card is running low on funds and your bank account is dwindling faster than the quarter is progressing. You could risk your grades by working more hours or just quit school altogether so you can work even more.

According to a recent National Student Financial Wellness Study conducted by Ohio State University, 70 percent of students are under financial stress — which is one of the main reasons students to dropout of school. Don’t despair: The Benefits Hub is here.

The Benefits Hub is best known for its student food pantry. The Hub even has a microwave and hot water, so you can whip up ramen on the double and make it to your next class on time. Students in need can also take home groceries, personal hygiene products and pet food.

SCC student Mari Chua said she uses the Hub whenever she needs food in a hurry or doesn’t have the money to afford it. She especially appreciates the cup noodles, sausage and chocolate milk (when it’s available).

The food pantry is kept stocked using a portion of your student fees, donations and food drive contributions from the SCC faculty, staff and local charities like the Highland Terrace Club and Shoreline Rotary Club. The school’s cafeteria and coffee shops also contribute stock to the pantry.

Collin Fartale, the program coordinator for the Benefits Hub, said the Hub can also help with financial coaching, budgeting and credit-score improvement through many workshops. The workshops teach important life skills that will be useful long after the school years are over.

What’s more, the folks in the Hub can help you get reduced-fare ORCA cards, discounts on utility bills, food stamps, housing assistance and health insurance. They’ll even help you fill out FAFSA forms and do your taxes.

These services are open to domestic and international students. You may need to apply for some benefits (Hub staff will assist you), while others, like the food pantry, only require that you fill out a simple form on your first visit.

The Hub is the result of a joint effort of several organizations, including AmeriCorps, an organization that helps employees pay off student loan debt after graduation by working in various social services.

PJ Deguzman, a former SCC student who now works on campus, has used the food pantry on occasion but he was most impressed with the credit-score workshop.

“I’ve implemented it into my life, and it’s made a big difference,” Deguzman said.

The Benefits Hub hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. However, it is best to make an appointment as staff are frequently busy with workshops and meetings.

Food Pantry Information

The food pantry has guaranteed open hours of operation, but students can pop in at other times when open.

Guaranteed Food Pantry Hours:

Located in the PUB, Rm. 9203

Monday and Tuesday 3-6 p.m.

Wednesday 1-4 p.m.

Thursday 9 a.m.-noon

If You’re Looking to Help Out the Benefits Hub:

If you have extra canned food or snacks, the Hub welcomes student donations. Just stop by during office hours and drop off what you got.

The most popular items are quick and easy to eat: canned protein (chicken, tuna and beans), breakfast bars and snack foods.

If you’re feeling even more generous, you can also look into hosting food drives off-campus.