Texas A&M University-Texarkana officials, faculty, staff and students gathered with community members and officials from Harvest Regional Food Bank Texarkana on September 18 to launch the university’s new food pantry. Named the Eagle Pantry, the concept originated from the Office of Student Life after employees learned how prevalent the issue of food insecurity is among college students nationwide as well as in Texarkana.
A survey of current and former TAMU-T students revealed that 30% did not have enough food for themselves or their household at least once while being part of the Eagle family. Another 15% of those surveyed said they had inadequate food supplies more than three times in a semester, and 37% knew another student who did not have enough food as well. “The numbers were eye-opening,” said Assistant Director of Student Life Michael Stephenson. “You know the statistics are out there, but surveying our own students and seeing that it affects people we know really hit home. We decided something needed to be done.”