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Sun City season of giving

Daniela Gonzalez Bustamante
The fine arts team hosted the “Celebrating Day of the Dead by Helping the Living” event, where organizers screen printed for food bank donors.

As Halloween comes to an end, November enters with cold breezes and a change of weather. A month widely known for Thanksgiving. While this season is often characterized with the emphasis of being thankful, it is important to remember those less fortunate.  

While most of the country is celebrating the holidays and enjoying their families, there are some places around El Paso to give even more thanks for: charities, such as UTEP’s own Food Pantry and Kelly’s Center for Hunger, 

UTEP’s food pantry was founded in 2014 and offers food and assistance to students that face food insecurity. According to an article by CNN, the number steadily increases each year for families, children and college students facing food insecurity and it is UTEP’s mission to break those numbers down.  

“From fall 2020, around 38 percent of students in two-year colleges and 29 percent of students in four-year colleges reported experiencing food insecurity in the previous 30 days,” according to Hope Survey from The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. 

While students walk from class to class every day, they may not notice the need for help from their peers. The food pantry was created at UTEP to address the need for help from students in college.  Hence why donating to these places are important. While it might seem overwhelming, it takes the initiative to donate, to make sure help is initiated everywhere. 

Miners donated canned food to the food bank during the fine arts event “Celebrating Day of the Dead by Helping the Living.” (Daniela Gonzalez Bustamante)

Small events across campus help in these donation processes. Students were encouraged to donate nonperishable food in exchange for an art print on a personal shirt. Things like this will go directly to the food pantry at school.  

“At the start of this semester we had a faculty meeting and they shared with us statistics about students that go hungry,” said Nabil Gonzales, a professor in the Art Department. “I have had students that come to me and tell me that ‘I haven’t’ eaten in days’ so I always try to help them out, but with this new information that we got, we thought to do a food drive so that we can donate the food to the food pantry as well.” 

The idea came from Day of the Dead where food is offered to honor ancestors. Instead, the day was utilized to give food to people who are still with us. It is these events that send their help directly to the cause.  

“I know there’s a lot of people, even myself last semester, I struggled a lot with bringing lunch,” said UTEP senior Diana Gutierrez. “Every day I hear someone say, ‘I am starving, I haven’t eaten all day.’ People need food, so if you have the means why not help. Be kind to people, you don’t know what people are going through, just donate if you can. This semester a lot of my peers I know have gone to the Memorial Gym food pantry, it’s very resourceful for everyone.” 

Another option people have near campus is the Kelly Center for Hunger, a food pantry started in the basement of Trinity First United Methodist Church in 1999, now has its own building. They offer food Tuesday to Saturday, giving people the option of selecting articles they need. 

They offer food supplies but also occasionally necessary items. Not only that, but they have a community closet, where business casual clothing provided if available. From food to clothes, they are very active in social events, such as providing resources to the community from medical events to health workshops.  

Now that the holidays are approaching, take a moment to think about those who have less than others. So why not take the time to donate if there are the means. If not, advocate and spread the word about these programs and organizations for the community.  

Katy Ruiz is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]  

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About the Contributors
Katy Ruiz
Katy Ruiz, Contributor/Reporter
Katy Ruiz is a contributor for The Prospector. Going towards her sophomore year, she is majoring in digital media production with a minor in film. Her goal is to get to the editing department on the news.
Daniela Gonzalez Bustamante
Daniela Gonzalez Bustamante, Contributor/Photographer
Daniela Gonzalez Bustamante is a contributor/photographer for The Prospector. She is a freshman majoring in communications. She plans to work as a sport social media manager. She also has her small photography business Cre8tive.dani which she plans to continue to grow.
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