Sentinel Food Pantry Hosts Grand Opening

MADISON, FL (November 20, 2023) – On Monday, November 20th, North Florida College celebrated an intimate Grand Opening for its Sentinel Food Pantry, located at its Student Center within the Madison campus.

The event showcased guest speakers from Second Harvest of the Big Bend and State Representative Allison Tant. The official ribbon cutting was hosted by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, with a special appearance by Miss Madison and NFC Alumni, Caibre Johnson.

Following the ribbon cutting, guests entered the Student Center for a cooking demonstration by Bill Fredericks, Second Harvest Nutritionist, who showed how to create healthy meals with food offered by the Pantry. Choice produce items donated by Second Harvest of the Big Bend were available for guests and students to take home.

The Pantry was created after it was identified that some NFC students struggled to focus on studies due to food insecurities. As a result, NFC established resources and partnerships to help students through the challenges of food costs, which will help them accomplish their educational goals.

“We know that students cannot learn if they are hungry,” said John Grosskopf, NFC President. “Our goal is to help overcome their food insecurity or relieve the pressures they may have to take care of their household, if such obstacles prevent them from pursuing their degree or certificate.”

“The Pantry is only possible through the support of our sponsors and NFC faculty and staff,” stated Michelle Wheeler, NFC Pantry Coordinator. “Their dedication to our students is humbling and rewarding. Because of their help, students can focus on their education without worrying what to eat today.”

Sponsors of the Pantry include Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Allison Tant, State Representative House District 9, Sniffen & Spellman, P.A., NFC Employees and the NFC Foundation.

The Pantry offers students free groceries, clothing, baby supplies, pet food, personal hygiene, and more. It is open by appointment Monday – Friday from 8am-4pm.

Currently enrolled NFC students have access to additional food resources including: Sentinel Snack Zone, Student Center Food Cabinet, Mobile Pantry Distributions, Fresh Fridays, SNAP Application Assistance, and Emergency Food Pickup.

For more information about the Pantry or to learn how you can help, contact Michelle Wheeler at 850-973-1618 or email


Second Harvest Rep Speaking

PHOTO 1: Tobey Gable, Director of Advocacy and Strategic Marketing for Second Harvest of the Big Bend, starts the Grand Opening, sharing how Second Harvest and NFC have partnered to help reduce food insecurities for students.

Rep Allison Tant Speaking

PHOTO 2: Representative Allison Tant shares a testimony of how food insecurities shaped her mother’s life and commends NFC for establishing the Pantry.

Michelle Wheeler Pantry Coordinator

PHOTO 3: Pantry Coordinator, Michelle Wheeler, offers a future outlook of the Pantry, where it started and where it hopes to grow, offering more services to NFC students.

Pantry Ribbon Cutting

PHOTO 4: Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting (l to r) Reo Morris, Tyler Coody, Katie Miller, Jen Page, Kristin Summers, John Grosskopf, Lynn Wyche, Allison Tant, Emmanuel Routsis, Bill Fredericks, Ellie Morgan, Caibre Johnson, Micah Rodgers, Tobey Gable, Melanie Morgan, Karen Hiers, and Michelle Wheeler.

Cooking Demo

PHOTO 5: Bill Fredericks, Nutrition Education Coordinator for Second Harvest of the Big Bend, shows how to create healthy meals with food offered by the Pantry.