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TAMIU Dedicates Dusty’s Food Pantry Posted: 10/27/17

TAMIU Dedicates Dusty’s Food Pantry


Dusty's Food Pantry
Pauline Arredondo is Dusty's Food Pantry Coordinator.  

In addition to homework and exams, there’s a growing new challenge on University and college campuses across the nation: food insecurity.

Food insecurity is the lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food…and it happens to university and college students across the country. If food insecurity is prolonged, it can impact students’ education success potential.

At Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), “Dusty’s Food Pantry,” a dedicated effort to combat food insecurity, was introduced Friday as part of the University’s observance of “Make a Difference Day.”

“Food insecurity is a national challenge, and our students are no different. Whether it’s a temporary or extended situation, it’s just not conducive to student success, and it’s something we want to address quickly and efficiently,” said Mayra Hernandez, director of the University’s Office of Student Conduct and Engagement.

“We’ve now dedicated our Dusty’s Food Pantry in our Student Center for daily access by students. They can come in, select food items and be on their way. All of our supplies are donated, much by our University community, including fellow students, faculty, administration and staff,” Hernández explained.

She noted that at the start of the semester, TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz suggested that the traditional Fall Faculty Mixer could focus on food gathering for the new Dusty’s Food Pantry.

“Dr. Arenaz used the opportunity to welcome new faculty, and pair it with an initiative that will positively impact their and our students. We were able to collect substantial amounts and help establish our base inventory,” Hernández said.

Hernández said that while food security incidences at the University are not widespread, they do occur.

“It could just be a temporary financial setback, or a budgeting miscalculation…or it could be an emergency situation that has tapped out the student’s resources. The cause is really not important to us, but the effect: hunger, is very important. We want to make sure that all students know the pantry is available to them, at no charge,” she stressed.

Hernández said launching the new Dusty’s Food Pantry during the University’s “Make a Difference Day,” helped underscore its campus-wide importance and relevance.

“You’d be surprised at how much a good, warm, filling meal can make a difference when food insecurity is part of a student’s day,” she concluded.

Dusty’s Food Pantry accepts donations from community members. Among items currently needed are breakfast bars, cereal, oatmeal, non-perishable cans, waters and drinks, beans, rice and can openers.

For additional information, contact Hernández at 956.326.2288, email, or visit offices in Student Center, Suite 226.


President Pablo Arenaz joins Mr. and Ms. TAMIU, Ryan Hodgson and Valerie Nunez, as well Student Government Association president Max _____ and TAMIU vice president for Student Success Dr.Minita Ramirez. for the ribbon-cutting for the new Dusty's Food Pantry.

President Dr. Pablo Arenaz joins Mr. and Ms. TAMIU, Ryan Hodgson and Valerie Nunez, as well as Student Government Association president Gabriel Martinez, Dusty's Food Pantry coordinator Pauline Arredondo and TAMIU vice president for Student Success Dr. Minita Ramirez. for the ribbon-cutting for the Pantry.