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‘12th Can’ fighting food scarcity at Texas A&M

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 23:24:11-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The "12th Can" is a student-run food pantry at Texas A&M, serving students, faculty and staff in need of food assistance.

In an effort to eliminate hunger on campus, The "12th Can" is preparing for its next distribution day, June 15.

Students, faculty, and staff can fill up 30-to-40-pound bags of produce, non-perishable items, and frozen food items.

Caroline Clayton, associate director of the "12th Can," helps run the pantry throughout the school year and summer.

“We are mainly a donations-run food pantry,” Clayton said. “We have donations from students to alumni to just anybody in the community that knows about us and would like to donate.”

The "12th Can" partners with the Brazos Valley Food Bank to stock their on-campus pantry.

“Our clients, everyone that comes in, all students, faculty, and staff are able to come peruse our pantry,” said Clayton. “Right now, we’re operating on a hybrid model.”

With the hybrid model, clients can choose between pre-packaged bags used for COVID safety precautions, or they can choose what items go in their bag.

“They’re able to fill up with 20 to 30 pounds of food, anything that they can carry, they can take home with them,” said Clayton. “Generally, they can walk away with 40 pounds of food if they really wanted to.”

Karely Mar Trevizo, membership director for the "12th Can," says she got involved with the organization because she once relied on it herself.

“There was a point in my life where I did have to endure food insecurity so to me it’s a really important issue, more in the college community,” Mar Trevizo said.

With the inflation of food prices and the university operating on reduced hours for the summer, the pantry gives staff and students access to food.

“We have a lot of students that are either working or they’re international students which don’t have that support from their parents, so sometimes it’s like a good way for them to take that weight off their shoulders,” said Mar Trevizo.

Clayton says during COVID, it was beneficial for them as the "12th Can" received numerous donations, allowing them to still operate and serve the campus.

Even though they’re only open once a month during summer, they are still making a big impact.

“Last month, in the month of May, we served over 125 individuals and almost all slots were filled,” Clayton said.

During the school year, Clayton said the pantry serves about 500 clients a month, as it is open every other week on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Feminine hygiene products and toiletries are also available in the pantry.

The food pantry will be open tomorrow, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you are interested in a time slot, visit their website here to sign up: www.the12thcan.org.

Their next distribution day following tomorrow will be July 13.