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Texas Wesleyan Food Pantry Gets Fridge, Fresh Produce

10.03.2023 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
A new fridge in the food pantry is full of fresh produce

In a heartwarming gesture of community support, Texas Wesleyan University's Food Pantry recently received a valuable donation of a refrigerator from Texas Health Resources and Tarrant County. This significant contribution has ushered in a new era for the pantry, allowing it to store fresh fruits and vegetables, and enhancing its mission to combat food insecurity on campus. 

Texas Wesleyan University's Food Pantry has been a symbol of hope and support for students facing food insecurity since fall 2017. Established to address the growing concern of hunger on campus, the pantry has evolved into a vital resource for students striving to make ends meet while pursuing their education. 

“Part of the reason we started the Food Pantry was because somebody told me students were living in their cars. If they can see that students are hungry in class, the faculty will go out of the way to help,” said Dr. Alison Simons, associate professor of sociology at Texas Wesleyan University and coordinator of the TXWES Food Pantry. “The Polytechnic United Methodist Church agreed to start the pantry in their kitchen. The church members helped us out; they cooked bread and provided extra snacks.” 

In its early days, the pantry primarily provided non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, granola bars and pasta, to students in need. While these items are essential, there was a growing desire to offer fresh options to promote the overall well-being of the student body. 

“The number of students served varies depending on the month, but we’re consistently feeding 50-75 students weekly,” Dr. Simons said. “We’re really pushing the food pantry this semester. Students shouldn’t have to worry about food.” 

North Texas Healthy Communities, a division of Texas Health Resources, has been tackling the issue of hunger by establishing the “Good For You Pantry” program in 2019. This initiative establishes food pantries in various locations throughout the community, offering fresh and healthy food options to individuals and families in need. North Texas Health Communities connects with local food banks, local growers and farmers markets — like the Funkytown Mindful Market, held once a month on Texas Wesleyan’s campus — to deliver fresh, accessible food options at a free or reduced price to those living in underserved neighborhoods.  

The Tarrant County Commissioners Court was awarded funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is having a direct and daily impact on the lives of Tarrant County residents. The ARPA has helped fund several projects, including the Good For You Pantry program. 

The program was found by a student volunteer who reached out to North Texas Healthy Communities to see if they would be interested in partnering with Texas Wesleyan’s pantry. After a few months of planning, the pantry was renovated over the summer with fresh paint and new flooring, with the refrigerator coming just before the start of school. This is the first collegiate partnership for the Good For You Pantry.  

“We received our first delivery of fresh produce from the Good For You Pantry on the first day of class – providing some grab-and-go fruit and veggie options for students to walk around with,” Dr. Simons said.  “We’ll have so much more fresh produce, thanks to North Texas Healthy Communities and Tarrant County ARPA funds!” 

For more information about the pantry or to donate items, including school supplies, toiletries and gently used clothing, visit  

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.