Groceries For Everyone: Free Groceries every Thursday at Skyline College

Every Thursday, many students and community members gather to participate in Community Market Day, which is hosted by Sparkpoint outside building 4 of Skyline College. By participating in this event, students and members of the community are able to receive groceries such as fruits and vegetables for free.

Sparkpoint has been around since 1922. They are a financial capability support programs resource that helps students and community members with things like health, education, and financial stability.

Chad Thompson, the director of Sparkpoint, spoke about how Sparkpoint operates around campus.

“We do financial coaching,” Thompson said. “We do a lot of work around food access, so we have a food pantry, food stamps, we have a scholarship program, we have all of this support that connects to someone’s financial situation.”

Back in February of this year, Sparkpoint started the Community Market Program to try to support Skyline students and community members.

“We started because we kind of reach our maximum capacity with our food pantry with supporting people with food,” said Thompson. “We wanted to do more, we wanted to try something different, and we wanted people to see the work that we are doing.”

They made a lot of changes and improvements to make the Community Market Day much more convenient to those people participating in this event and especially to those students who needed it.

“Almost every week we try to improve and change some of our strategies to be more effective,” Thompson said.

The original idea for the market is to provide more support to students and for students see the benefits of it. One of the main problems that they faced back in February was students feeling like they did not have enough time to get the groceries.

“What we did to try to fix that is to make a separate student registration process that is much faster,” said Thompson, concerning improvements that have been made.

What this means is that students don’t have to wait in the huge line to get the groceries. They go on a shorter line only for students.

This event also has something called “student boxes”. This allows students to come in the morning before the market, fill out a form, and fill out a request of what they would like in their box, and it is made for them so that after class, students can come and pick it up. For those interested in volunteering, the best ways to get involved are to directly contact the Sparkpoint Center or to just showing up at the event. Sparkpoint wants also students to get involved.

“This event is very beneficial to my family,” said one attendee of the event. “Especially to those with a big family.”

“The line is long each week, but it is worth the wait,” said another attendee.