Food Pantry at UTEP continues serving students


Courtesy of UTEP Food Pantry

Maria Ramos, Contributor

As food insecurity and shortages continue to spike during the COVID-19 pandemicUTEP’s Food Pantry stays operating to provide food items for undergraduate and graduate students.  

As many students or someone from their households might have lost their jobs or are struggling to buy enough food for their families, the Food Pantry continues to be a dependable resource. 

The Food Pantry is the only office open at UTEP’s Memorial Gym and its staff is following the measurements of social distancing. Karen I. Barraza is a graduate student in mental health counseling who works at the Food Pantry. Barraza explains the process for students to gain access to food items.  

“Students only need to show up to the pantry and have their Miner Gold Card in order to have access to food items,” Barraza said. We ask for their UTEP ID to make sure they are enrolled in the current semester. It doesn’t matter if there are full time students or not.”  

Students can ask for food for one day or for a full week. Assistant Dean of Students, Matt Crouse explains how these two options works. 

“The students can choose from two options. One, they can ask for food for the full day, which will include breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner,” Crouse said. While the other option consists of getting food for the whole week, for this option students can only do it once a month.”  

Miners can choose from a food menu that the Food Pantry provides, where they can find canned fruit, canned beans, different kinds of pasta, spaghetti sauce and some other nonperishable items.  

Barraza emphasizes the importance of donations these days and says that if students or people in the community can buy extra items and deliver them to the Food Pantry, it will be very appreciated. 

The Food Pantry also encourages students to follow them in their social media accounts for updates. They can be found on Instagram as @UTEPFoodPantry and on Facebook as UTEP Food Pantry. 

The Food Pantry team wants students to know that they are here to help  those in need during these difficult times. They are sending emails to all college divisions at UTEP so professors and academic advisors can let know their students about their services.  

 “We want students to know that they don’t have to struggle in silence, we are here to help,” Crouse said. We hope students spread the word around and let know other students about us.” 

The UTEP Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.mMonday through Friday and is located at Memorial Gym, Room 105If a student cannot go during the specified time period, they can email the Dean of Students office to arrange a different meeting time 

Maria Ramos may be reached at [email protected]