Can food pantry lends helping hand to students

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Can food pantry lends helping hand to students

Erin Webster

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At West Texas A&M University, there are programs and groups dedicated to helping students. A program with this objective in mind is the Buffs Can food pantry.
Established by the combined efforts of both CORE and WT’s Student Government, Buffs Can first opened its doors in March of this year.  Nonperishable vegetables, fruit, protein, starches and packaged snacks are available to any student in need.
Buffs Can also has diapers, baby food and basic toiletries, according to Amanda Kraemer, a graduate assistant in the CORE office.
“Anyone can donate to the food pantry. Students, faculty, community members,” Kraemer said. “However, as of right now, [Buffs Can] cannot accept perishable or refrigerated items as donations.”
As it has grown, donations from several organizations have assisted in the improvement of the food pantry. The High Plains Food Bank, based in Amarillo, is a group whose task is akin to Buffs Can.
Their goal is “to alleviate hunger on the high plains,” Broc Carter said, keeping the entire community and surrounding area in mind. Carter is the organization’s Director of Communications.
When Buffs Can first began its operation, its conjunction with the High Plains Food Bank established a specific relationship between the two organizations.
“We function with WT as a partnering agency, which means we provide food that Buffs Can manages and delegates to students,” Carter said.
The connection of the High Plains Food Bank to Buffs Can has provided assistance not only with stocking food items, but with building community ties.
Many WT students are unaware of Buffs Can. While the most important objective of the program is to provide for students with a necessity for extra food, students must know about Buffs Can in order to be affected by it in any way.
According to Gabriel Silvas, sophomore Theatre Performance major, promotion of awareness of the opportunity for assistance would be very effective.
“A lot of people would be willing to donate to the food pantry,” Silvas said.
Ultimately, Silvas said, “campus-wide awareness of Buffs Can leads to a sense of community-mindedness and security for students in need.
Buffs Can is located in the CORE office inside the Jack B. Kelley student center.

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