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LC organization aspires to end student hunger with South Texas Food Bank partnership



Student hunger is a reality for pupils of all ages, including those in higher education. Pursuing the career of your dreams takes energy, effort and persistence–all of which can be correlated to good nutrition.


After exchanging personal stories of students in need, several members of the Laredo College Chapter of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) decided it was time to get involved. The group is made up of approximately 15 members, most of whom are faculty. They voted to become an agency with the South Texas Food Bank, hence assuring that students would have a secure food source once a month.


Mary Sue Galindo, TACHE president and LC English instructor, set up a meeting with the agency’s director at the LC South Campus along with South Campus Dean Carolyn Schmies and other Tachistas.


“During a final exam last spring, a student wrote about issues students have to deal with and one of them was hunger,” she recounted. “This got me thinking and I remembered how one semester in a kinesiology class I was taking here at South there was a student who commented that he didn’t have lunch so that his child could eat.”


It was stories like this one that propelled the group into action. As a non-profit organization, TACHE met the only criteria needed to qualify to become an agency, according to Galindo.


“Our goal has always been to have the college run the program as we are full-time faculty,” she said.  “At the very least, our collaboration will bring the mobile pantry to campus once a month.”


TACHE has also supported another college initiative to help feed hungry students. The LC Trading Station is a collaborative project among different college departments who share a vision of helping LC students by providing clothing and food items during times of need. TACHE has donated some bags of apples and oranges to the Trading Station, Galindo said.


The organization’s goal of partnering up with the food bank is to provide healthy snacks to students as they come and go from campus.


In the future, TACHE is looking to assign someone from LC to become the point of contact between the college and food bank. This person would manage the food pick-ups and deliveries, process paperwork for the food bank and run the program.


“At this time, I am the person of contact for TACHE,” Galindo said. “I receive notices of food items for sale and freebies. I have been forwarding the notices to Tachistas, and they are in turn printing the notice and driving to the food bank to pick up food items, loading their vehicles and returning to campus to unload and distribute food items.”


She is also looking for a refrigerator to be donated since the group is limited as to what they can bring to give out to students since they have no place to store perishable food items.


To date, TACHE has distributed dry cereal, bags of oranges and apples, granola bars and packages of grapes—all free to the students thanks to this partnership with the South Texas Food Bank.

“It brings me so much joy to see the food disappear and know that students are enjoying it and they are appreciative,” Galindo concluded.