Southwest Texas Junior College food pantry supporting students during giving season

The food pantry has expanded to campuses in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Crystal City.

UVALDE – It’s the season of giving and some college students in Uvalde are hoping to inspire others to do the same.

For them, it’s as simple as providing a meal to their fellow students.

The shelves are stocked at the Southwest Texas Junior College food pantry.

“They can grab three cans of vegetables, one thing of peanut butter, or usually we have jelly, thing of rice, tuna. Really, whatever it is they’re looking for,” Ryan Alldritt, advisor for Phi Theta Kappa said.

While the pantry has been around since 2017, the COVID-19 pandemic has made a big impact.

“We saw a really big decrease in donations being made. So as a past Phi Theta Kappa project here, we decided that it would probably be a good idea to try and revamp,” Landon Haynes, Phi Theta Kappa president, said.

Haynes has been going to the junior college full-time for a year. She’s president of the college’s honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

She took on the challenge to revive the pantry.

“They might need that little bit of extra support just to make it a little bit easier having to pay for college and help with families,” Haynes said.

It benefits the students on campus -- each semester they can grab from the pantry six times.

Right now, the need is greater than ever.

“Half to two-thirds of our student body is low income. So they’re making 150% or less than the poverty line,” Alldritt said.

Red donation buckets are scattered throughout campus. They collect donations for the food pantry and have a list of items the pantry is needing. But there are other ways you can donate monetarily.

“We also have the contribute button on the website where you can go to designate that you want to donate to the food pantry specifically,” Philip Hadley, marketing coordinator, recruitment and engagement for SWTJC said.

They’re also implementing a program where students can round up their totals at the school cafeteria to donate to the pantry.

Haynes’ mission has reached local businesses like the Uvalde School of Gymnastics and collected and donated 200 nonperishable food items.

“It’s just a good way for all of us to be involved and make a difference here in the community,” Kim Knape, owner of USG said.

Haynes hopes the continued awareness helps keep these shelves full for the students who need them.

“Keep it stocked up, keep it organized, and keep the awareness being spread about it being here,” she said.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.