12th Can Food Pantry

Devon Thomas, finance director at the 12th Can Food Pantry and senior at Texas A&M, places a bag of food in a vehicle at the 12th Can Food Pantry on Agronomy Road in College Station on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. 

The 12th Can Food Pantry is prepared to serve Texas A&M University faculty, staff and students in need on certain Wednesdays this summer, beginning this week.

From 10 a.m. to 4:30 on Wednesday, eligible visitors can pick up food from the student-run pantry’s drive-thru at parking lot 76 by the Mail Services Building on A&M’s campus. The 12th Can volunteers will be prepared to serve up to 200 people, A&M student and 12th Can Director Kelly Villarreal said. Visitors should keep up with the organization website at the12thcan.org, Villarreal said, since the drive-thru system may change later in the summer depending on COVID-19 restrictions. 

The pantry, which is a program partner with the Brazos Valley Food Bank, saw a 30% increase in visitors during the first two weeks of April, Villarreal said. While the number of visitors has started to fall, she said there are still slightly more clients than there were at this time last year. Additionally, she said a significant number of people cite COVID-19 as the reason for using the pantry. 

Between April 15 to April 30, the Texas A&M Foundation partnered with The 12th Can to run a food drive, which brought in 3,524 pounds of food, according to Foundation Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications Dunae Reader. It also raised more than $25,000, Reader said. The donations were helpful and appreciated, Villarreal said.

“It helped us so much to be able to pack bags with food staples,” Villarreal said. “We’re really grateful to the Texas A&M Foundation, the Aggies and the community members who helped to make that possible.”

Foundation President Tyson Voelkel said via email that the coronavirus has reminded everyone that while they may not have control over the situation, people can control how they respond. 

“The Texas A&M Foundation will always do what we can, when we can, where we can, for the students, faculty and staff of Texas A&M,” Voelkel said. “Our amazing team was honored and humbled to support the Texas A&M community through the 12th Can food drive, and it made us all feel like we had some control and impact by helping others.”

Monetary donations can still be submitted to The 12th Can through the Foundation at https://bit.ly/12thcan. Anyone who wants to donate food must coordinate with The 12th Can directly by emailing 12can.donation@gmail.com. Food donations can include items such as pasta, canned or dried beans and canned protein. 

“We’re excited to remain open over the summer and help the Aggie community,” Villarreal said. 

The pantry will be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12. For updates on procedures in response to COVID-19 or to read about who is eligible to receive food at the pantry, visit the12thcan.org

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