Texas Border Business
MCALLEN, TX – Hiromi Diaz said a difficult situation last month had her scrambling to find a way to feed her family despite the risks associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Diaz, who is currently a full-time student at STC’s Mid Valley Campus and pursuing an associate degree in education, said her family entered a difficult phase after her husband was laid off in April. The family had to find a way to make ends meet while being shut-in, and finding food assistance suddenly became a priority while her husband tried to return to work.
Searching for support for her family of five, she said food assistance from the college helped them receive the essential items they needed to weather the difficult period.
“It was really worth it, and I am really glad I was able to have the benefit of the food pantry,” Diaz said. “Students shouldn’t hesitate to receive help, and they shouldn’t worry about talking to people at the college because STC has a lot of help available.”
South Texas College served hundreds of students and their family members like Hiromi shortly after it began offering food assistance in April, according to coordinators with the college food pantry. Food pantries are offered at the Pecan Campus in McAllen, the Mid-Valley Campus in Weslaco and the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City.
Staff members placed calls to these students to make an appointment, and volunteers distributed pantry items using a curbside system. Food assistance at the college continues throughout the summer.
The Department of Student Activities and Wellness at STC has made the student pantries available to all eligible students, as long as they are registered for assistance, current students or registered for the summer.
“Our focus is to keep the students engaged and involved at South Texas College, and one way we do that is through the food pantry,” said Elibariki Nguma, Director of Student Activities and Wellness. “We understand that some students face food insecurities, and especially now with COVID-19, we know that they might be facing even more hardships.
“This food pantry is one way to support them and still keep them enrolled at school,” Nguma said. “We are trying to alleviate some of the concerns and issues they may have while having them continue with their classes without having them worry about something like food.”
For additional information on pantry services, students can visit https://life.southtexascollege.edu/food-pantry/. They will need to provide their full name, address, phone number, and student “A” number.
Students can find a range of other services at www.southtexascollege.edu. For students needing to schedule an appointment, they can visit the admissions portal at https://studentservices.southtexascollege.edu/admissions/.