Tarleton food pantry helps Prairie View A&M start up own pantry

Rachel Crawford, Managing Editor

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One year ago, Tarleton State University opened up a food pantry at the Barry B. Thompson Student Center, a team effort between Student Life and Academic Affairs. The pantry, which helps students in need of a meal without having to worry, served 160 clients during 2015-16.

“Thanks to the hard work of volunteers…and the support of Tarleton leaders, students can receive enough food for two to three days without answering questions or completing daunting forms,” Caleb Chapman, co-director of the pantry, said in a Tarleton press release. “A student ID number is all that’s required. It’s a program worth modeling.”

Tarleton set up such a good program that Prairie View A&M wanted to use Tarleton as an example to set up their own. Over the summer, a few officials came and toured our facilities and took notes on how to set up their own pantry.

During their visit, Prairie View learned about how to get started, how to staff the pantry and keep up with donations, funding, and more. They were even able to meet with a few Tarleton volunteers.

“The Prairie View team is focusing on formulating a clear plan to launch a food support program for their students that is healthy, sustainable, and the right fit for their needs,” Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason, co-director of the TSU pantry, said. “They are going to help so many students. It is exciting to see their hard work and dedication in this effort.”

While the Prairie View pantry is just getting started, the Tarleton pantry is in full swing.

Currently, the pantry needs peanut butter, cereal, oatmeal, quick breakfast items, and rice. A full list of all items accepted, and a place to make monetary donations, can be found on the food pantry page on the Tarleton website.

 

Students who come to the pantry can pick 15 items (three proteins, three sides, three fruits and/or vegetables, three breakfast items and three snacks). While at the pantry, they are also given a list of local churches and organizations that serve free meals during the week.

In the future, the pantry would like to accept perishable items, such as dairy and meat products.

The pantry is always looking for volunteers. Duties include accepting donations, taking inventory, creating food supply packages and distributing items to clients. Volunteers work in 1-hour blocks between 1 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Hours for the pantry during the school year are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more about the pantry, volunteering or donating, call (254) 968-9488 or email [email protected].