Student volunteers from Texas A&M University’s 12th Can Food Pantry joined university administrators today to celebrate the acquisition of a freezer trailer to store perishable goods.
This expansion of resources will allow the pantry to increase the quantity and variety of food offered to those in need, said 12th Can Director Kelly Villarreal ’21, a business honors and management major from Pasadena, Texas.
“With the newly added freezer trailer, The 12th Can is excited to introduce items like frozen beef and poultry, among other perishable items, to Aggies struggling with hunger in hopes of expanding our clients’ reliable access to nutritious food,” she said.
The pantry serves Texas A&M students, faculty and staff who struggle with food insecurity and Villarreal said more than 40,000 pounds of food from donors across the Brazos Valley are distributed each academic year.
The 12th Can food pantry’s director Kelly Villarreal cutting the ribbon on the new freezer trailer
Kelly Villarreal, director of The 12th Can, unveils the new freezer trailer during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
Billy Smith, Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications
The freezer trailer came to the pantry thanks to a grant from the Brazos Valley and Houston Food Banks.
Villarreal said that while the trailer will increase the pantry’s capacity to meet the needs of its clientele, it will also increase demand for volunteers. The pantry currently has 130 active members/volunteers.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in those seeking food donations, so the trailer comes at a good time.
“Because of the pandemic, it is all the more special to be able to introduce such an amazing addition to our food distribution during a time of great need,” Villarreal said. “We are immensely grateful to the Brazos Valley Food Bank for the grant, to the Brazos Valley and Aggie community for their support over the years, and to our donors for helping us to fill this freezer trailer and eliminate hunger at Texas A&M.”
Additionally, Villarreal said Cactus Cares has been an excellent partner, as has the Rosenthal Meat Center which is currently partnering with The 12th Can to provide ground beef to those in need.
The freezer trailer will be located just outside of the pantry in the Mail Services Building thanks to the support of the Mail Services and Procurement staff.
Current students, staff, or faculty at Texas A&M who are struggling with food insecurity can visit 12thcan.tamu.edu to find out more information about how to qualify for access to The 12th Can’s resources.
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