WINCHESTER, Ore. - What started out as a paper for a Sociology class has turned into a major award for a student at Umpqua Community College.
Melissa Osborne started the U.C.C. Food Pantry back in January, and she was just named to the U.S.A. Today's All-Community College Academic Team.
Twenty students from across the nation were honored with awards and scholarships, but more than anything else Melissa said she is happy to see the results of her work.
"More so than the recognition I'm getting I'm excited about the fact that it seems to be inspiring more people on my campus to be proactive, and do some community service projects, and to do service projects for the students out here, which was pretty much my goal to begin with," said Osborne.
The idea came when Osborne was taking a Sociology class where students had to find a social problem, and write a report on how people could tackle the issue. After doing more research she realized some students at U.C.C. had an issue with getting enough food, and that causes some people to drop out.
Because the program is beginning to show success, several students at the awards ceremony wanted to start similar programs at their schools.
"A lot of them were talking about how they could do that on their campus and they kind of have the same problems whether they are in a rural or metropolitan area. So I have already gotten quit a few e-mails in regards to giving them my action plan, that I started with, so hopefully it will spread," she said.
Even though the pantry has only been open for a couple of months, it is beginning to serve more students, and is receiving donations from several local organizations.