by Victoria Peña-Parr
About 1 in 6 people in New México, and 1 in 4 children, are suffering from food insecurity, according to USDA statistics from 2017 – unsure of where they will get their next meal and how to gain consistent access to food. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how many of those are college students, but The University of New Mexico is launching an on-campus food pantry to ensure all Lobos have consistent access to healthy eating options.
The Lobo Food Pantry will be unveiled at a grand opening for their new Main-Campus location on Sept. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University Advisement and Enrichment Center (SAEC) courtyard, including light refreshments.
In 2014, the Mobile Lobo Food Pantry started up as a way to help students who do not have enough money to buy healthy food. It’s set up once a month at UNM’s South Lot and was created through the collaborative efforts of UNM Dean of Students Office, Division of Student Affairs, and Roadrunner Food Bank. As it gained momentum, the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center decided to expand the operation to ensure that students have access to food right on main campus.
“At the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center we strive to find new and innovative ways to support our students,” said Lisa Lindquist, director of LoboRESPECT. “The response we’ve received to our mobile food pantry has been tremendous, and it really paved the way as we worked to identify something more accessible and sustainable to address food insecurity on our campus.”
The pantry will provide students with shelf-stable foods, canned foods, pantry staples, toiletries, detergent, paper products and personal care products – such as feminine hygiene products, diapers, and formula.
“I’m excited the Lobo Food Pantry is appealing to different populations on-campus, this new location will make it more accessible to our Lobos,” said ASUNM President Adam Biederwolf. “The collaborating organizations do a fantastic job with providing food for our students in need, so they can be properly equipped to take on the semester. I hope to see the Lobo Food Pantry keep growing as time goes on and continue positively impacting students’ lives.”
Lobo Food Pantry’s new location is in Room B70 in the University Advisement and Enrichment Center and is open to all students with a current Lobo ID on Mondays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday hours will not be held when there is a Friday mobile pantry the same week. Hours are subject to change by semester. If students want to visit outside of scheduled hours, they can call 505-277-2911.
To donate food and toiletries to the Lobo Food Pantry, contact the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center at 505-277-2911. The Food Pantry does not accept food items that are purchased in bulk and/or unpackaged. For more information, visit Lobo Food Pantry: https://loborespect.unm.edu/services/campus-lobo-food-pantry.html
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