Food pantry distribution

Becky Martinez left, and Christine Simon, both of Temple College, help out TC students who came by to pick up groceries on Tuesday, including student Consuelo Torres, at the Arnold Student Union Building.

On Tuesday, Temple College emptied out its student food pantry.

For the time being there are no students on campus, yet some of those students still require some help when it comes to having enough food to get them or their families through the week.

Instead of keeping a pantry full of food behind the locked doors of the student union building, it was decided that food should be offered to students who are now pursing their college education online.

Some students had reached out to Christine Simon, TC mental health counselor and psychology instructor, seeking assistance. An email went out to all students announcing the Tuesday food pantry

TC staff members Sheila McMillan, financial aid, and Becky Martinez, admissions and records, volunteered to man the pantry tables on Tuesday.

The distribution began at 10 a.m. and by 11 a.m. two tables and a shelf that had held bags filled with groceries were empty and removed.

“We’ve had a lot of students come by,” Simon said.

The bags were packed up Monday and each bag included some proteins and vegetables.

Most included rice and beans, along with chili and tuna. There were also packages of cornbread, protein shake powder, flour, sugar and pasta.

The students were encouraged to give away any of the items in the bags they didn’t want to neighbors and friends and family.

“Some of the students were coming to pick up food for their elderly parents and we allowed that,” McMillan said.

In addition to the food, there was toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and other hygiene items.

Consuelo Torres has a restricted diet and though she loves beans, she can’t eat them.

Torres had completed her education years ago and is now pursuing a music degree for her own satisfaction.

“I love music,” she said.

Torres’s son, a student at Texas A&M – Central Texas, is taking classes at the TC campus.

TC student Savannah Brock showed up at the pantry to pick up food. Brock, a second year student, works full time at a local grocery store, so life has been a little hectic.

She is getting a general studies degree at TC and wants to study archeology.

The change from face to face classes to online didn’t bother her since she taking mostly online classes this semester.

Imana Ellis, a volleyball player at TC for the past two years, stopped by to pick up some food.

Ellis will continue playing volleyball at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where she’s majoring in health sciences.

“My goal is to become a physical therapist,” she said.

TC President Christy Ponce stopped by to see how the pantry food distribution was going.

“It’s amazing to see story after story about amazing people helping out their neighbors as people learn to deal with a world that is restricting movement,” Ponce said. “They are making grocery deliveries and pet sitting, taking on all sorts of activities you don’t normally think about,” Ponce said.