Tacoma Community College student Beau Jackson couldn’t sleep.
But instead of lying in bed thinking of tests he had to take, he was suffering from insomnia tied to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Jackson, the president of TCC’s associated student government, helped organize an effort to hand students close to 700 sandwiches this week during their winter quarter finals.
They wanted to give a meal to students, especially those with tight finances, so they have one less thing to worry about during a stressful time.
“We’re trying to address their needs, to make college as accessible to as many students as possible,” Jackson said. “If food is a limiting factor, let’s try to eliminate that limiting factor.”
The student government association took the idea from Clover Park Technical College. It is a first step toward addressing hunger among students, including some who must decide between paying for tuition and books or their next meal, Jackson said.
Student leaders want to see a food pantry opened on the Tacoma campus. They’ve created the “Food for Thought” program to see that done.
Distributing hundreds of sandwiches this week has allowed the association to show there’s a need, Jackson said.
The TCC Foundation and other donations helped supply the Food for Thought committee with sandwich fixings.
Tuesday was the first day the sandwiches were offered at three buildings on campus.
At the student center, members of the women’s basketball team handed out plastic bags with two slices of wheat bread, prepackaged peanut butter and jelly, a knife and a napkin.
Within 11/2 hours, the supply of 230 sandwiches was gone.
Things went a little slower Wednesday, when fewer students were on campus, but the 200 sandwich kits made the night before were disappearing quickly the closer it came to lunch time.
“I think it’s awesome,” said student Ben Weiner after grabbing a sandwich.
With all of his finals happening Wednesday, he wasn’t sure when he would find time to eat.
“It gives you a snack if you need something,” he said.