MTCC VISTAs in Service to Combat COVID-19 Crisis

April 10, 2020

Two of our VISTAs, Sarah Poole, serving with the University of Montana Food Pantry, and Haransh Singh, serving at OCHE, are dedicating their service to combating issues that have arisen due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Before the outbreak, Haransh spent the majority of his service developing positive mental health programs for students within the Montana University System. Sarah spent her time in service before the outbreak organizing the UM Food pantry by training pantry volunteers, taking inventory of food donations and other such important pantry functions. 

Since the outbreak, Haransh has continued creating positive mental health programs, now through a COVID-19 lens. He began by compiling a webpage on the Montana University System website of tips and resources devoted to helping students, faculty and staff manage their mental health amidst the outbreak. This webpage can be found here: Haransh has also created social media posts of the same fashion as the webpage. These tips include information on how to stay motivated for online classes during social isolation.  

Haransh sitting at computer

Although the UM Food Pantry is no longer open during this time, Sarah’s daily service has not drastically changed. Since the food pantry is located in a small space, it is impossible to allow patrons into the pantry while social distancing. Instead, Sarah and other pantry staff have begun placing packages of supplies, such as food and hygiene products, outside of the food pantry on a shelf. The food pantry is located in the University Center, one of the only buildings left unlocked during the outbreak. These packages are restocked every Tuesday and Friday. Donations are still welcomed, says Sarah, and are in dire need. Please drop off any food or hygiene donations you have in front of the food pantry door. They will be disinfected before being placed back out on the shelf for patrons. 

Sarah holding package bagShelf full of food packages