Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, food pantries at Dallas College and across its seven campuses have been closed. However, after much anticipation, the university decided to officially reopen the pantries on July 12.
After launching in 2019, the pantries took a big hit at the height of the pandemic. Being forced to shut down operations for 14 months negatively affected many students, adding a new stress factor for many who relied on the pantry to secure food.
According to NBC 5, Associate Dean of Basic Needs & Care at Dallas College Cathy Edwards said, "what we had found through all the statistics was that our students were hungry. And of course, you know, if you're hungry, if you're focused on your next meal, how can you focus on studying? And how can you be successful? So, we wanted to open food pantries on each of the campuses to remove that barrier from our students so they could come in once a week and get their grocery shopping done."
Although the pantries closed their doors to students, they worked diligently to create new opportunities for students to obtain food by partnering with the North Texas Food Bank. Together, they set up mobile pantries across the seven campuses and fed students and families in the Dallas community.
"We've given out since March 2020, over three million pounds of food. So, there was such a need," Edwards said.
As students begin returning to campus, they will be pleasantly surprised and relieved that the food pantries will be open and fully stocked, ready to help students in need.
For locations and hours of the student pantries, click here.
For information about the mobile pantries organized by North Texas Food Bank, click here.