Texas State’s Student Government is organizing a food drive for the Hays County Food Bank (HCFB) in preparation for the increase in food insecurity during this time of year.
Non-perishable items or cash donations will be accepted at drop-off locations inside Commons, Jones and Harris dining halls along with the LBJ Student Center between Oct. 11-15. Donations will also be collected at the Oct. 16 Texas State football game tailgate.
The food drive comes at a time when the need is high among many non-profits and local organizations. According to Iris Tate, community relations coordinator for HCFB, the food bank has seen an influx in need with more citizens visiting the facility. The food bank itself is also experiencing a “dry season” as the number of donations has declined.
“During the summertime, we usually notice that the shelves get pretty empty here," Tate said. “We also have a decrease in volunteers, because we rely heavily on the student body at Texas State. So, we're kind of just recovering from that right now. Our shelves are pretty bare at the moment, and we like to, you know, if anyone comes to the door, we like to be able to give them the assistance that they need. So, we're really pushing for outside food drives to happen since we are short-staffed here.”
Student Body Vice President Quintin Lorenz is organizing the food drive and said he is hopeful the Texas State community will view the donation drive as an opportunity to show gratitude toward San Marcos.
“I’m excited about the threshold … to me, this could be a thing that we can do every single year,” Lorenz said. “Just something that Texas State just does for the community. Because we are here, I wouldn't say as guests, but well, we are in a college town, but this town is also here as well. So, we want to give back to them.”
While HCFB partners with Bobcat Bounty, Texas State's student-run pantry, to assist students experiencing food insecurity, Tate said the majority of people the food bank interacts with are local families. Her hope this year is that they can continue to help families, along with those in the community experiencing homelessness.
Tate said donation items tailored toward those experiencing homelessness would be foods that are easy to open like tuna packets, granola bars, beef jerky, fruit snacks and oatmeal. These foods, Tate said, are high in protein and help provide energy that lasts throughout the day.
Student Government encourages other organizations on campus to participate in the food drive by dropping off donations at the Oct. 16 tailgate or at the on-campus collection sites. Organizations who drop off non-perishables will have a sign with their organization's name displayed in the upper rim of Bobcat Stadium during the homecoming game on Nov. 6.
While the Student Government food drive used to be a tradition at Texas State, it has not occurred in recent years, Lorenz said. With a new executive board in office, Lorenz looks forward to bringing this tradition back to the community.
“I know for a fact there's many students who have no idea of the traditions here at Texas State," Lorenz said. “So, this is one of them ... and then also it really like, brings back the bloodline for some of the alumni. Say, if you were in Greek life, or say, if you were in a service organization here at Texas State, like now you can come to a homecoming game and literally see the organization that you were in about 20 years ago.”
Student Government is hopeful this initiative will become large-scale and have a great impact on both HCFB and the Bobcat community. Texas State Student Body President Andrew Gryce reiterates the importance of the food drive at each Senate meeting and encourages Student Government members to spread the word.
“We want to be as inclusive as possible. So, that's why we open it up to all student organizations,” Gryce said. “We're also doing community outreach as well; we also included the Round Rock campus. We're gonna be getting as many outlets for food donations as possible, which is the goal.”
For more information on the food drive visit Texas State Student Government on Twitter @txstSG.