(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Texas State Technical College students will not go hungry on — or off — campus, thanks to the efforts of the Advocacy and Resource Center — and the donations that keep the Fort Bend County campus’s food pantries well stocked.
This semester, the Food Pantry initiative has added a new location for students to fuel up for their studies and training in the Industrial Technology Center. The first location was in the Brazos Center.
“We had students coming to campus at night, so we wanted something that was available to them too,” said Larissa Moreno, an Advocacy and Resource Center coach at TSTC, on the reasoning behind adding the new location.
The new station includes meals that students can quickly prepare with the help of water bottle filling stations and a microwave, like ramen, ravioli and frozen meals. Students can also grab their choice of granola bars and snacks to get them through the day.
To help fill the refrigerator and pantry at home for students who need a little extra help, the Advocacy and Resource Center also provides grocery and freezer bags. Both of the food pantries on campus offer a freezer filled with frozen chicken, beef and other food essentials.
In the Brazos Center, students have access to coffee, sandwiches, canned goods, fresh produce and more.
“We try to do a fruit of the week so students get some fruit in them,” Moreno said. “They’re welcome to take as much as they need.”
The products at each Food Pantry are available for both TSTC students attending classes in person on campus and those enrolled in online-only programs. Moreno only asks that students who take items use a sign-in sheet so the Advocacy and Resource Center can track the pantries’ usage. She added that anywhere from 60 students a week to 300 students a month have used the Fort Bend County campus’s Food Pantry resources, which are restocked about every other week.
“We’re thankful for The TSTC Foundation for assisting us with the donations,” Moreno said.
In addition to assistance from The TSTC Foundation, restocks also come from the Advocacy and Resource Center budget — and donations from TSTC faculty, staff and students, Moreno said.
“Our Helping Hands fund does help buy supplies, food and other resources to help our students,” said John Kennedy, field development officer for The TSTC Foundation. “We want our students to get to the finish line and find meaningful work.”
Some students may need a little extra assistance to do so.
“My job is to remove any barriers the students may have,” Moreno said.
To that end, she also offers Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application sessions for students who need further at-home assistance to meet their food needs. Other Advocacy and Resource Center support efforts include counseling services, time management tips, stress relief advice and much more.
Learn more about TSTC Student Services and the Advocacy and Resource Center at tstc.edu/student-life/student-services/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.