Louisiana Tech’s Food Pantry ready to assist with student nutrition needs
Sponsored by the Student Dietetic Association, the pantry provides non-perishable food items for Tech students who need extra food resources. The service is located in Carson-Taylor Hall (CTH) Room 152 and is open 12:30-4 pm each Monday through Thursday.
“So far, we have had only a few students visit the pantry,” said Food Pantry Director Dr. Catherine Fontenot, assistant professor for Tech’s nutrition and dietetics program in the School of Human Ecology. “However, with the work restrictions becoming more severe, I anticipate students needing our help quite extensively in the coming days.”
The pantry is staffed mostly by undergraduate nutrition and dietetic majors, but all students are welcome who wish to donate their time. With an above-average number of students expected during the next few days and weeks, Fontenot said she will “need volunteers to operate the pantry and complete the paperwork that helps me track the number of students visiting the pantry and the volume of food we provide.”
Contact Fontenot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318.257.3237 to volunteer.
“I’ll provide volunteers with work days and time shift availability,” she said. “I’m limiting the number of people working at all times to remain in compliance with the 10-person-per-room restriction.”
Students who wish to benefit from the pantry need only to show up, fill out a short form, and have a current campus-wide ID, cell number, and Tech email address.Available items include peanut butter, fruit cups, granola bars, tuna, pancake/biscuit mix, canned chicken, mac and cheese, popcorn, and frozen meals and soups developed and taste-tested by Tech’s 2019-20 dietetic interns; these are scratch-made, freezer-stable meals.
Most recently, Fontenot cooked soup for freezing Tuesday morning; Wednesday, volunteers will be cooking again from 2-5 p.m. As part of a dietetics class requirement, students have to come up with meals they can make from pantry items that can be frozen and still taste good.
Tuesday, Fontenot placed an order with the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank that should be filled by Friday.
“They will do their best to have our order ready sooner,” Fontenot said, “but they have been hit rather hard in recent days.”
The pantry does accept both food and cash donations. Cash donations can be made through the Tech Alumni Foundation, ear-marked for the Food Pantry account. Food donations can be delivered either to Fontenot’s office at CTH 145, or just down the hall to the pantry.
“We sort the food, check expiration dates, then package it away,” said student volunteer Abigail Henington, a sophomore nutrition major from Shreveport and a graduate of Loyola Prep. “People drop off non-perishable items all the time.”