KILLEEN, TX — Helping provide necessities for students in need, the community has ensured a safe haven stays open and stocked.
The Cupboard at the Texas A&M Central Texas campus helps support students in a bind. Stocked with food, hygiene products and even clothes for job interviews, the cupboard acts as a safety net. But after the pandemic hit, the donation run program started losing traction.
"We were running very low on resources--we were running pretty bare" explained Paul York, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
York explaining, through his team's research they've found nearly 20% of students at the university endure weekly food insecurity.
Hearing the Cupboard was running low on supplies and funds, Brian Haywood, along with a community of others stepped in to help.
“I have been there, I have climbed from the bottom all the way to where I am, so I know how it feels“ said Haywood.
Starting a Facebook fundraiser, Haywood found many in the community eager to help.
“I held a fundraiser just personally through my Facebook, and just walked around Killeen and talk to friends, and stuff” said Haywood, explaining in total $1,605 was raised to immediately assist the cupboard and restock their shelves.
“We were running pretty bare, and like I said, this donation from the alumni Association really gave us the opportunity to refill a lot of where we were low“ explained York.
Among those who stepped in with donations were Texas A&M Central Texas faculty and staff, the Alumni Association, The Killeen Chapter Rotary Club, and many people across the community.
Able to provide bi-monthly pick ups for students in need, those at the pantry welcome any and all students of the university that need a helping hand during this time.
"If you’re struggling with food insecurity, and you need assistance, or if you have kids, whether you’re a single-family or if you have four kids, we want to help“ said York.
"Taking that extra burden off of you just when it comes to food or needing to be clean for class, it means the world that you don’t have to feel like you’re doing this completely alone“ explained Haywood.
Those from the university ask that if you are a student in need, simply call the Office of Student and Civic Engagement, at 254-519-5496, to reserve a pickup time slot. Staff explained the pickups will be brought out to each student as they drive up. The student will need to supply their student ID Card, and minimal paperwork may be required.
At this time the Cupboard's Team is compiling bags of items for each student full of food designated as nutritious, as well as hygiene items for everyday use.
The pickups will be scheduled every other Friday, beginning May 29 2020, and run through August, at which point staff will evaluate the need.
The Cupboard program is always looking for helping hands, if you would like to donated either funds or supplies please contact Paul York with the Office of Student and Civic Engagement, at 254-519-5496.