Feeding people over the summer

The Richland Campus food pantry is still open

Blanca Reyes, Editor-in-Chief

Ummu-Kulthum Abdulatif works at the food pantry. (Staff Photos/Blanca Reyes)

Summer, for many, means vacations, sun and fun. However, things do not always get easier, and sometimes, summer also means food uncertainty. When that’s the case, the Dallas College food pantry on the Richland campus  is here to help.

Since the regular semester is over, many students and members of the community might have not access to some resources, but the Richland Basic Needs and Community Connections Department is not taking any break from their mission. The food pantry remains open during the summer months.

“Students can come from Monday through Friday, but we also have a program where the community comes on Friday. They can come from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.,” Ummu-Kulthum Abdulatif said.

Abdulatif, who works at the food pantry and is pursuing a degree in occupational therapy, said that people who are not students are welcome to come to get groceries, clothes and  other basic items that Richland offers through the food pantry. The only thing they need to do is to fill out a form with basic information such as  name, address, income, number of people in their household.  People do not need any documentation to receive the services.

Canned goods are just some of the items available at the pantry.

Alma Olguin, a care coordinator resource lead and person in charge of Richland’s food pantry, said  opening the program to the community is new, so not many people know about it.

“Sometimes we even tell our custodians to spread the word and they’ll come and get some other stuff. … I know right now we’re working with making some type of text message to send out to students,” Olguin said.

The food comes mainly from the North Texas Food Bank and the Richland community’s donations. The Food Bank makes available a list of food that Richland and other food pantries have access to.

“The research leads are the ones that are in charge of making those orders [food]. We really just order what’s on the list so we don’t really get a say of what specific items we can order,” Olguin said.

A limited selection of clothing is also available at the pantry.

The food is given on a first-come, first-served basis, so the research leads try to ask about the products the people prefer at Richland.

Products that can be found at the food pantry are from oats to cans of veggies and fruits. Sometimes, they also have some perishable items  such as chicken, beef, yogurt and milk among others.

The Richland food pantry is located in EL Paso Hall Room EO30.