Today@Sam Article

Partnership Enhances Food Pantry’s Impact

March 23, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Crandall

Students Working at Food PantryEnsuring the university’s voice is heard in decision-making for the nation’s largest food bank, the Sam Houston State University Food Pantry will serve as one of 14 members of the Houston Food Bank’s Partner Advisory Committee. As recognition for the university’s participation, the SHSU Food Pantry will receive a $10,000 stipend.

“Houston Food Bank serves a very large area, and we were selected to represent the Walker County region,” said SHSU Food Pantry Director Kathleen Gilbert. “For Sam Houston State and our food pantry to have a voice at that table is an extraordinary opportunity.”

The purpose of the committee is to bring up opportunities and gaps in service, and then to transition those findings into feasible, relevant, sustainable and possibly innovative solutions.

“We will have a voice at that table for the Bearkat, Huntsville and surrounding communities,” Gilbert said. “It is a true privilege to be able to bring positive change and ensure we are combating food insecurity within this region to the best of our ability. I am excited to put us at the forefront of this initiative and to be able to make a difference.”

Kathleen GilbertWith this partnership, the very similar missions of the Houston Food Bank and the SHSU Food Pantry will align to ensure that food is available to those in need to create better lives in the regions they serve. Gilbert will serve as the primary representative for SHSU’s involvement with the committee, and College of Health Sciences Interim Dean Emily Roper will serve as the alternate representative as needed.

“The College of Health Sciences is thrilled that the Food Pantry was selected to be a part of Houston Food Bank’s Partner Advisory Committee,” Roper said. “Through this partnership with the Houston Food Bank, we are excited to collaborate with other committee members to identify areas for improvement and explore solutions related to food insecurity that impact our communities.”

Other organizations selected to serve on the committee will represent different aspects of the unique service landscape of the Houston Food Bank including urban, rural, senior, children, Latinos, African Americans, Vietnamese, South Asian, faith-based, homeless, pantry sites, schools, healthcare and college campuses.

"We are thrilled to have SHSU as a part of the Advisory Committee," said Houston Food Bank Community Engagement Officer Toral Sindha Shah. "They have been an active partner in the Houston Food Bank Scholarship initiative and bring a practical and panoramic lens of the youth voice and community needs to the table."

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