Posted: 6/25/20

Daybreak Rotary Supports TAMIU’s Dusty’s Food Pantry for Students


Campus Entrance

The ongoing challenge of student food insecurity has a new supportive partner at Texas A&M International University.  The Laredo Daybreak Rotary Club has provided the University’s Dusty’s Food Pantry with a gift of $1000 Thursday at  the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center. 

Daybreak Rotary members conducted a variety of fundraising initiatives including virtual fundraising to provide assistance to the Pantry, said Liz Gomez, Daybreak Rotary president. 

“We know food insecurity for students is a real issue at campuses across the nation and TAMIU is no exception.  Our members took up the cause and we’re happy to be able to offer Dusty’s Pantry our assistance,” Gomez said.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz lauded the effort and the assistance provided by the Daybreak Rotary Club.

“Student food insecurity has only been exacerbated by the continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Food Pantry has remained open to students throughout the pandemic. Knowing that the Daybreak Rotary Club members dedicated precious time and resources to reach out and help our students is really reassuring and reaffirms our belief that we are in this, together…TAMIU Together and Laredo Together,” he observed. 

In addition to Gomez, joining Dr. Arenaz at the presentation was Lupita Zepeda, Rotary assistant district governor, who noted Daybreak Rotary’s ongoing relationship with the University.

“We have a scholarship endowment here that we’re very proud of and our members were eager to help the University’s food pantry.  We’re continuing to look at ways we can help the University and its students,”  Zepeda said. 

Launched in 2017, Dusty’s Food Pantry often sees daily access by students, said Mayra Hernández, director of the University’s Office of Student Conduct and Engagement. 

“Whether it’s a temporary or extended situation, student food insecurity is not conducive to student success, and it’s something we want to address quickly and efficiently at TAMIU. Our Dusty’s Pantry is open Monday-Friday and all of our supplies are donated, much by our University community, including fellow students, faculty, administration and staff,” Hernández explained.

Dusty’s Food Pantry accepts donations from community members. Among items in regular demand are breakfast bars, cereal, oatmeal, non-perishable cans, waters and drinks, beans, rice and can openers. Online donations are also possible.

For additional information, contact Hernández at 956.326.2288, email mghernandez@tamiu.edu, or visit Dusty’s Food Pantry online at: https://www.tamiu.edu/foodpantry/

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAMIU’s campus is closed only to the general public. Entry to campus continues for students, faculty, staff and those having legitimate reasons to be on campus. Online and virtual services at the University continue, practicing all CDC Guidelines on gathering, masking and social distancing and with most staff working remotely.  Office hours are subject to change and it is recommended that phone or email contact be made first to determine the office’s schedule of operation.   An online directory is here.

The University’s dedicated COVID-19 website is updated regularly and includes information on office schedules and services, an expansive FAQ, quick links, student resources, official information resources and much more.


Laredo Daybreak Rotary Club is supporting TAMIU's Dusty's Pantry for students with a generous member donation.  (L to R, front) Liz Gomez, Daybreak Rotary president and Lupita Zepeda, Rotary assistant district governor.  (L to R, back), Dr. MInita Ramirez, vice president for Student Success, and Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU president.