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Pocket Pantries help address food insecurity on the Texas A&M campus

Posted at 9:14 AM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 10:14:22-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Pocket Pantries are located throughout the campus of Texas A&M University, helping students who may be experiencing food insecurity.

Inside the Academic Success Center, you will find two Pocket Pantries in Rudder Tower filled by the Aggie Moms Club of Brazos County with food and hygiene products.

“I’ve taken some soup from there sometimes,” college student Ananya Adiki, said. “There’s like goldfish, just little snacks there.”

Adiki is a freshman at Texas A&M.

She notices the multiple pocket pantries across campus.

Jane Pepin is the president of the Aggie Moms Club of Brazos County, making sure students always have a grab and go food options.

“We know that it helps a lot of students,” Pepin said. “It’s just quick, pick me up things. They can go back to their room. They can pop a can of soup, or those packaged coups into the microwave.”

Cheyenne Jacobson is a success coach in the Academic Success Center.

She experiences firsthand academic and personal challenges students may be facing.

“So something that does come up sometimes in our conversations with students is that they are having difficulty buying groceries and they are experiencing levels of food insecurity,” Jacobson said.

Adiki said the Pocket Pantries are especially helpful when dining options close for the day.

“It’s pretty useful, especially when everything closes,” Adiki said. “I feel like if you have something you don’t want to eat that’s been unopened that someone else would benefit from, it’s a good place to put it.”

“We stock it,” Pepin said. “We have people who donate money and then Sally buys the goodies or sometimes people come and bring us two or three sacks of goodies.”

Students can discreetly grab the food items they need and put them in a disclosed bag.

“Allowing us to provide them with additional resources on campus and in the community that are available to them for some longer-term food solutions,” Jacobson said.

Pepin said this project gives them the opportunity to stay involved with students.

“It’s really a wonderful project for us and the students know that Brazos County moms really care,” Pepin said.

It’s a small initiative making a big impact.

“Everyone once and awhile somebody will stop and say, ‘oh thanks, we’re glad you’re here, and it sure does help us,'" Pepin said.