Lone Star College - Kingwood and HAAM (Humble Area Assistance Ministries) have found another way to tackle hunger by starting a daily food pantry that will open later this year.
Along with the monthly Community Food fairs at the college, the campus Intercultural, Men's and Women's centers, and HAAM will operate The Coyote Cupboard, a daily food pantry beginning this fall. The primary goal is to address the immediate food needs of college students, faculty, and staff. It is also open to the community.
"Food insecurity is an additional stressor to what can already be a challenging time for a college student. We hope that if anyone on our campus experiences this that the pantry will ease their burden," said Kristen Johnson, director of student diversity and equity at LSC-Kingwood.
The centers' staff and student volunteers from the Honors College and other organizations will operate The Coyote Cupboard in the Student Conference Center room 201. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. If patrons cannot make it during business hours, they can request an appointment.
"For our students, including volunteers, we hope they will understand that food insecurity is a real thing. They may never know if a friend, classmate or family member is experiencing it," she said. "We want student volunteers to feel empowered to help solve and hopefully eliminate food insecurity in their community."
In a 2018 study, Temple University and the Wisconsin Hope Lab found that 36 percent of college students said they are food insecure. Also, 42 percent of community college students indicated they struggle the most to get adequate food.
"If students are worried about where their next meal is coming from or how to meet their basic needs, it just presents one more obstacle on their path to success," Johnson said.
The Coyote Cupboard will offer non-perishable items such as canned goods, microwavable soups and pastas, boxed pasta, fruit cups, applesauce, chips, crackers, granola bars, breakfast shakes, and cereal. On occasion, the pantry will have fresh fruits and bread. For more information, email Kristen.A.Johnson@LoneStar.edu.