The Ram Pantry has been providing for our students for the majority of Angelo State's existence, although it has changed over the years. It started with a single student seeing a need in her community, so she began bringing food donations to those in need and it has grown to become what we know of as the Ram Pantry today.
Food Insecurity awareness has always been important to the Ram Pantry even before it was more widely addressed by the public, which is something Erika Baeza, Director of Multicultural and Student Activities Program, is very proud of. Baeza says that they have been focusing on sustainability and sourcing healthier options for our community with the help of President and First Lady Hawkins, who have been very involved in making sure our students are taken care of and expect the organization to expand into further programs such as discussing mental health.
The Ram Pantry wants to address the stigmas against partaking in the pantries resources and wants to make it very clear that every single student is welcome. Services such as these are provided to every student upon enrollment, so even if you happen to be down on your luck one day— perhaps you left your OneCard or cash at home and just need a bite to eat— you are welcome any time. The false mindset that someone is less fortunate than you therefore you do not deserve the help is what they want to address: there will always be someone less fortunate, but that does not mean you deserve the assistance any less. This is a resource that everyone is encouraged to use despite financial hardship or lack thereof.
Aaron Espinoza, Inclusion and Engagement Leader, says the Pantry aims to provide this resource to remove obstacles so that when people are faced with food insecurity it can be addressed quickly. Inclusion and respect for all are some of The Ram Pantry’s greatest values according to Zach Perterson, Inclusion and Engagement Leader. If you or someone you know is in need, you can go directly to the Ram Pantry or fill out a request form found here, https://www.angelo.edu/live/forms/1125-food-pantry-request-form .
The best way to get involved and help out the pantry is to volunteer to run a food drive to donate and build up your communities. Donate non-perishable food and food left over in your homes before you leave for the holidays. Donations are not limited to food, either; blankets, warm clothes, femine and hygiene products are important too— even school supplies. There is also the option to provide a monetary donation on their webpage. If you do not have the ability to donate, there are opportunities to volunteer at the Center of International Studies in the University Center where Ram Pantry resides to see how it runs and reach out to those who are in need that may not be aware that they exist.
Ram Pantry is providing thanksgiving baskets, it is first come first serve and during the holidays there will be premade bags with essentials that will be left with Housing and the Angelo State Police department for when Ram Pantry is closed. Another event to be aware of is the ThankFUL food drive on November 18 located at dinner time at the Caf. Donations are open all month long!
The Ram Pantry is open Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and if you would like to reach out to them they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and 325-942-2729 as well as the Houston Harte University Center, room 114.