Hundreds of UTSA students benefit from Roadrunner Pantry
(April 13, 2017) -- A month ago, UTSA opened the Roadrunner Pantry to help combat food insecurity among its students. Since that time, it has helped 400 students by providing 1,600 pounds of free food.
"It's been very exciting to see how many students this pantry has touched," said Nikki Lee, senior associate director of events management in the University Center. "We knew there were a lot of students who needed help, but we weren't expecting this many in the first 30 days."
The pantry provides UTSA students with non-perishable foods and other essentials they need to thrive and focus on their studies. Located on the UTSA Main Campus in University Center North (UC 1.04.06), the Roadrunner Pantry is set up like a grocery store. Any UTSA student with a valid UTSA ID can shop for non-perishable foods such as peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, pasta, soup and even toiletries, free of charge.
Libby Honsalek, a UTSA sophomore majoring in psychology and Spanish, has received help from the pantry several times.
"The Roadrunner Pantry helps me in my moments of distress and reassures me that if I really need the help, I know exactly where to go," Honsalek said. "It's all taught me that it's okay to ask for help. Being in the heart of campus at the UC, the pantry serves a great purpose because it is easily accessible but also discreet. It's opened my eyes to the joy of giving and receiving."
Honsalek now helps other Roadrunners by telling them about the pantry or picking up food for them.
"Sometimes it is scary admitting you need help for fear of being judged or condemned," said Honsalek. "I try to work as the middle man helping bridge that gap between the need and the solution."
When students shop in the pantry, they're asked to leave a message in a book.
"It's been great to see the student feedback," Lee said. "It's very eye opening."
Student messages include:
- "The pantry is really helpful for us students who make just enough to survive."
- "This pantry brought me to tears. I can't express my gratitude enough. It's going to get me through the semester."
- "I feel like our school really cares."
The Roadrunner Pantry relies on donations from the UTSA community to keep its shelves full. Donations can be dropped off at the Roadrunner Pantry Donation Station in the University Center across from the bookstore. Pantry organizers also encourage donation drives at events or office donation competitions. Lee said students have been asking for oatmeal and cereal, crackers, peanut butter and jelly, and pasta sauce.
Learn more about the Roadrunner Pantry.
View the pantry's most wanted donations.
Learn more about the UTSA University Center.
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