TSC Pop-up Food Pantry fights food insecurity, promotes success in the classroom

Texas Southmost College student Gonzalo Cedillo was able to put food on his table for his family thanks to a pair of Pop-up Food Pantry hosted recently at TSC’s Main Campus and International Technology, Education and Commerce Center (ITECC).

The pantry organized by TSC Student Life in partnership with the Brownsville Wellness Coalition and Walmart, provided at least 400 students with free fresh produce and a bag of groceries.

“There’s a lot going on and I’m struggling a little bit, but this ensures we have something to eat for the next few days. We’ll make it stretch,” said Cedillo. “I’m thankful to TSC and everyone out here for doing this for us. For me, personally, it means more than they’ll ever know.”

TSC’s Pop-up Food Pantry was made possible by a Communities Foundation of Texas Grant from RGV FOCUS, a Walmart Community Grant and donation of non-perishable food items from the Walmart Boca Chica location, a Valley Baptist Foundation Grant and the donation of fresh produce from the Brownsville Wellness Coalition.

Angelica Fuentes, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Academic Success said TSC’s mission is to help students be successful, and that also includes helping them outside of the classroom.

“For students to be successful, their basic needs need to be met first,” she said. “They need to feel secure, safe, have housing and food – that is why we’re putting in place pop-up food pantries. All their needs need to be put in place before any learning can happen.”

The event also included booths from Brownsville’s Good Neighbor Settlement House and Red Wagon Ministry and Outreach to provide information to students on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, shelters and soup kitchens, among other resources.

For Alberto Quintero, an Architecture student at TSC, this event helps alleviate the burden when faced with hunger.

“Events like this help put things in perspective. Our area is impoverished, and many need this help,” said Quintero. “This is helping many families and having a positive impact in our community. TSC and the local organizations hosting this event are doing a good thing and I hope they continue helping students and the community. I want them to know they’re doing a great job.”

Fuentes added, “On behalf of everyone at TSC, we are thankful to them for helping us make events like these possible.”