Today@Sam Article

SHSU Food Pantry Partners With American Legion

Sept. 2, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Story by Karen Leonhart

American Legion and Food Pantry Representatives with donations

The American Legion of Walker County recently held a food drive for the SHSU Food Pantry. Members of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders gathered more than 500 pounds of nonperishable food items to assist a growing need in making sure college students do not go hungry.

“We are grateful for the donation provided by the American Legion of Walker County, and are excited for future collaborations between the Legion, Veteran’s Center, and Food Pantry. Each group provides unique and essential resources to our Huntsville and Bearkat communities, and we are proud to work with both entities in assisting them to meet their needs,” said Director of the SHSU Food Pantry Kathleen Gilbert.

American Legion volunteers donating foodThe SHSU Food Pantry supports students who struggle with food insecurity, encourages an educational understanding of food insecurity, and provides quality and nutritious meals and groceries. Each month, they host multiple distribution days where students can stock up on groceries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food drives like the one provided by the American Legion are a huge help in fighting food insecurity for Bearkats.

“We work closely with the Veterans Resource Center on campus and have assisted veteran students in the past,” said American Legion Auxiliary Vice President Leigh-Anne Stewart. “When we decided to have a ‘Christmas in July’ food drive at the post, we contacted Fernando Chavez again and he put us in touch with Kathleen Gilbert at the food pantry. They were so excited to hear from us and were very gracious about the donation.”

SHSU currently has more than 650 enrolled veteran students. Fernando Chavez, U.S. Navy veteran and director of the SHSU Veterans Resource Center, spoke of the continued community involvement with, not only the SHSU veteran students, but the local community as whole.

“Every student doesn’t tell us everything, but when we do find out, the veteran community tries to do what we can,” Chavez said. "We have a good group here in Huntsville that does everything it can to assist our veterans and the community. We were happy this time that it was the Food Pantry. In the past, the American Legion has assisted with holiday food and backpack drives and even paid the balances of our students in need."

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veteran organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to its fellow service members and veterans. The American Legion Sam Houston Post 95 is located at 1919 American Legion Drive.

To learn more about how you can help the SHSU Food Pantry, visit their website or follow them on social media.

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