Photo by ALLYSIA FINE| The Ranger
Tam Duong, a chemistry major, volunteers at the Amarillo College Food Pantry on the Washington Street Campus, stocking food for those in need. Items can be picked up once every two weeks.
“If a student is down to their last $20 and has to choose between getting gas or food, then go ahead and get the gas. We can help with the food.”
That’s how Karen Logan prefers to describe the Amarillo College Food Pantry. Logan is coordinator of the Food Pantry on the Washington Street Campus.
“The most important thing is reaching academic goals,” Logan said. “We will help with that in any way.”
The stated goal of the Food Pantry program is to “help students in need focus on their studies rather than how they are going to feed themselves.”
Any currently enrolled AC students who have a need can visit the pantry once every two weeks. They will be given a large brown paper bag to fill with any items they need.
Items available include everything from boxed dinners, canned soups and peanut butter to razors and toilet paper.
“The Food Pantry is vital to many of our students,” said Lizzy Sharp, a vocational nursing instructor and coordinator of the Food Pantry on the West Campus.
“I have heard testimonies of students who are living in their vehicles, living with family in cramped spaces without enough food, having to make the decision between paying rent or buying food and many more.
The pantry makes it possible for students to be successful without having the added stress of trying to determine where their next meal will come from.”
The Washington Street location is the most visited. According to Logan, that pantry normally helps 50 to 60 students a month.
Last November was the highest use ever with about 100 students. However, success is not measured only in numbers. For those involved in the program, the pantry’s success is measured by the success of the students who use it.
Melodie Graves, a senior advising associate who works with the East Campus Food Pantry, said she is proud of what the program has done.
“In my experience, our pantry has been extremely successful,” Graves said. “I know my students and I know their stories. When they tell me they are hungry or their family is hungry, I now have an immediate solution to their problem. That is why we do what we do; we remove barriers so that success can be an attainable goal for everyone.”
The pantries are supported by donations from faculty, staff and students. Anyone can donate at any time. Anything that is non-perishable and not out of date is accepted. The West Campus pantry is located in 275 Jones Hall. The East Campus pantry is located in 133 Student Service Center. The Washington Street Campus pantry is located on the second floor of Parcells Hall.
For more information on making a donation to the Amarillo College Food Pantry, please visit www.actx.edu/resources/pantry.