A&M-Texarkana Food Pantry Opens More Frequently Citing Increased Need


When Michael Stephenson, TAMUT’s Assistant Director of Student Life, first opened the university’s food pantry a year ago, he knew there was a need. Now, with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting daily life for many, that need has grown even greater.

“We launched the “Eagle Pantry” in September of 2019 after running a needs assessment to determine if it was something our students needed,” said Stephenson. “I had been hearing about food pantries at universities from some student life workers from other institutions. It was something I hadn’t considered for TAMUT, but after our needs assessment survey we determined that it would benefit our students.”

The first month it was open the Eagle Pantry served 49 students and saw a total of 343 students during the academic year, despite being closed from April through August. Because he felt there would be an additional need due to the pandemic, Stephenson decided to open the pantry twice each month instead of only once and served 81 people in September.

One anonymous student provided a testimonial about how the Eagle Pantry benefitted her family, and how this year has been even more difficult than others. “The food pantry has benefited me extremely because it provided food stability for me and my brother,” shared the student. “I still continue to have a shortage of money because I was laid off from work…due to COVID-19. I struggled with payments for monthly rental, utility, insurance, and car bills; and on top of that, providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the nights closest to rent being due, we would only eat 1 meal a day with a small snack if we had leftover cash. I can’t express enough how thankful I was when I found out TAMUT had a food pantry! It took a lot of stress off of me; and being my brother’s guardian, I wanted to make sure my brother was full and happy. It truly is a blessing to have found a university that cares dearly for their students and wants the best for them.”

Located in room 114 of the Science and Technology Building, the Eagle Pantry feeds student success by providing essential non-perishable and personal hygiene items to students in need. The pantry is run through a partnership with Harvest Regional Food Bank and is available to any student in need who presents a current TAMUT student ID card.

The remaining dates and hours of operation for the fall semester are:

  • October 12 | 12-6pm
  • October 26 | 12-6pm
  • November 9 | 12-6pm
  • November 23 | 12-6pm

Students who need help outside of normal distribution days can contact foodpantry@tamut.edu for assistance. Anyone interested in sponsoring or making a monetary donation to the Eagle Pantry should contact Michael Stephenson, Assistant Director of Student Life, at 903.223.1362 or michael.stephenson@tamut.edu.

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