Campus pantry offers more than food, snacks


Brandon Donner

Clothing items are available at the food pantry in Room J104.

Justina Reginald-Fombo, Contributing Writer

The campus food pantry is for all students, staff and faculty who need food and hygiene products. 

They provide a variety of foods and nonfood supplies, ranging from snacks and instant meals to diapers. The food pantry also offers other items students might need such as deodorant and laundry detergent.

Brittney Verdell, basic needs and community connections case manager at Brookhaven Campus, said, “Dallas College focuses on providing food to their students to ensure that they focus on their student success.”

Verdell said available food items at the food pantry include noodles, microwaveable foods, granola bars, cereal bars, ramen and other easy-to-eat or snack-type food. 

Nonfood items include hygiene products and baby essentials, such as diapers and wipes. She said, “We have hygiene products such as deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and a clothing closet.”

Verdell said the Dallas College food pantry partnered with N

orth Texas Food Bank, providing the campus pantry with thousands of food items. 

The food pantry is an initiative to do better in the community using the multiple distributions provided by the campus locations, she said.

Dallas College food pantries are located on all seven campuses. 

Verdell said, “Food insecurity is not having or being able to have food that is easily accessible.” She said food insecurity happens for a variety of reasons. 

Verdell said: “Due to financial and transportation reasons. Or there could be a lack of store supplies for people who can afford food, but there is nothing in the store.”

College food pantries are primarily here to help students, Lee Kitchens, basic needs and community connections case manager at Richland Campus, said. 

The pantry helps stretch the budget to help make ends meet for long-term and short-term needs. Kitchens said if students are hungry, it is hard to study.

Verdell said Brookhaveans who need food assistance may visit the food pantry once a week. The food pantry also offers quick snacks people can pick up once a day. Food is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the Dallas C

ollege website. 

Appointments are not needed to visit the food pantry during business hours. The Brookhaven Campus food pantry is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The pantries at the other six campuses are open until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Yani Medina, basic needs and community connections case manager at Richland Campus, said there is no assistance after hours. She said students should plan ahead to visit the pantry when it is open. 

The food pantries are always accepting donations, Verdell said. “We prefer to receive the food donated, but we will never turn down financial assistance,” she said. 

Donated foods are easy to put on the shelf. “When it is a financial donation, the staff do have to take the time out to go shopping for those items,” she said.

Kitchens said, “We do get a lot of staple types of food from the food bank, snack food from ramen is the biggest thing that we can use more.”

The North Texas Food Bank provides the food and sets up guidelines, Medina said. “Food comes with an expiration date, so we keep it here until the item expires,” she said. 

“We know the Texas government health requirement, and we have a chart that tells this kind of item after the expiration date, food is still good to use, and we go by those lines, so it depends on the item,” Medina said.

In order to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally, Dallas College follows recommendations set by North Texas Food Bank.

Dallas College launched a Pack the Pantry campaign in March to encourage d

onations. The campaign will end in late April, Verdell said.

Dallas College campuses will have sets of two donation boxes in designated drop off spots. The donation drop-off points are the library, Office of Student Life, Admissions, Financial Aid, president’s office and the Food Pantry.