With the rapid spread of COVID-19, the UTEP Food Pantry is preparing for an increase in support. As such, we have re-opened this project to allow for UTEP family and friends to help in this time of need.
Do UTEP students need to decide between tuition or dinner?
In the coming weeks, thousands of college students will walk across a stage and proudly accept their diplomas. Many of them will be hungry. – New York Times, May 2, 2019.
UTEP operated a small food pantry support program for many years through the Student Development Center, which transitioned to the Office of Student Life in late 2014, and eventually moved under the current Student Engagement and Leadership Center in 2017. Through a significant generous donation from an anonymous donor in September 2018, an official, stand-alone UTEP Food Pantry, supported by the Dean of Students Office, was created. This new stand-alone program is completely supported through gifts - through supply donations, corporate foundation donations, and the generous support of individual financial contributions.
Food insecurity does not recognize academic college or major. The UTEP Food Pantry serves all our students – including undergraduates in 65 different majors and graduate students in 25 different academic disciplines. Food insecurity refers to having limited food available, including a reduction in the quality, safety or variety of food or ability to acquire food in a socially acceptable manner. Researchers estimate that half of all college students struggle with food insecurity. At UTEP, we recognize that food insecurity is an obstacle to student success and think it's crucial that students' basic needs are being met.
The Pantry stocks non-perishable items like:
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Vegetables
- Rice, Pasta
- Dry Beans
- Granola bars
- Boxed meals, and more.
The pantry, operated by 6 student employees, served over 300 students, in almost 1000 visits - just last year. Our student employees also spend their time building campus partnerships, inventorying food, referring students to other services, and educating our campus on food insecurity.
Open during the week, Monday-Friday, students need only to swipe their ID card for access to the Pantry, and they can leave with one meal or groceries for up to a week. Students understand that the pantry is in place for all students and only take provisions that are necessities.
At the beginning and end of each semester, the UTEP Food Pantry sees an increase in visits, requiring more food options on-hand. Supporting the UTEP Food Pantry with your gift will allow them to serve students for an entire semester!
Learn more about the UTEP Food Pantry.