In September of 2017, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi opened Izzy’s Food Pantry to help students who suffer from food insecurity. If a student is in need, even in a temporary crisis situation, they are encouraged to visit the pantry.
Since opening the doors of Izzy’s Food Pantry last fall, the University has served 109 students, over 480 times.
“Food insecurity is a real problem in universities and college students. When you are chronically hungry and worried about where your next meal is going to come from, you can’t focus in the classroom, you are not going to excel on your test, academics no longer takes first place on your priorities. You are thinking about finding food and filling your stomach. And Izzy’s Food Pantry really alleviates that stress and that worry for many of our students,” said A&M-Corpus Christi campus Dietician Marcie Garza.
During the month of February, Izzy’s Food Pantry will continue to help hungry students by hosting a “Spread the Love” food drive with a focus on collecting peanut butter and jelly.
“We really want to focus our efforts on stocking up on some of the most popular pantry items which include peanut butter and jelly. It makes a convenient snack orconvenient meal for a lot of our students, and it is really well accepted. And it provides a lot of nutrition, so it can create a better balanced meal,” said Garza.
Anybody looking to help spread the love and donate peanut butter and jelly can visit the University's website or call with any questions at 361-825-food.
If a student wants to remain active on campus and alert in class that means meeting high-energy dietary needs.
Peanut butter and jelly, along with any other non-perishable foods, can be dropped off at donation bins located at the University Center Information Desk and at the Dugan Wellness Center.
“Peanut butter and jelly are hot commodities at Izzy’s Food Pantry. As soon as they hit our shelves, students are taking them off,” said Lisa Perez, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Life at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
What makes peanut butter so popular? According to Marcie Garza, campus dietician at A&M-Corpus Christi, peanut butter is a well-balanced food choice thanks to its proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates.
It’s also inexpensive, tasty and accommodates a variety of dietary lifestyles.
Garza encourages the community to also consider donating peanut butter alternatives like almond butter or sunflower seed butter for those who are allergic to peanuts.
When choosing a partner for peanut butter, Garza recommends a spread of fruit preserves.
When compared to jelly, fruit preserves have a lot more nutrients, fibers, vitamins and minerals. Garza also suggests donating low sugar products to help those with diabetes.
“Efforts to minimize and reduce hunger in the college setting can really set our students up for success, both academically and long-term,” said Garza.
If a student is in need, even in a temporary crisis situation, they are encouraged to visit Izzy’s Food Pantry, located in the University Center, room 204.
Enrolled students can receive 10 non-perishable food items once a week at no charge.
To begin this process, students need to fill out a federal application form available at the food pantry.
Izzy’s Food Pantry is a joint initiative by A&M-Corpus Christi’s Student Engagement and Success and the Coastal Bend Food Bank.
Providing Islander students with a convenient site to obtain food assistance when needed helps ensure that students who are food insecure are able to meet their nutritional needs and minimize adverse impacts on their academic progress and success.
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