10:36 AM

Free groceries available for all UHCL students

Students taking at least one credit hour at the University of Houston-Clear Lake are eligible to receive free groceries twice a month, courtesy of the Houston Food Bank's Food for Change Program and UH-Clear Lake's Office of Student Advocacy.

"This program is for everyone and is not based on socio-economic status, income or need," said Kristi Randolph Simon, assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Student Advocacy.

"We're trying to remove the stigma associated with food insecurity. The program offers convenience, and it benefits all students to save money on groceries," she explained. "Reducing some of the financial strain that we all are experiencing will allow students more time to focus on their studies and personal lives."

The existing Hawk Pantry, located in the Student Services and Classroom Building, is being expanded and renovated. Until the pantry's remodel is complete, Randolph Simon said the groceries will be available at the Houston Food Bank's Market Trailer in Parking Lot D, on the first and third Friday of every month May through August, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Once the Hawk Pantry expansion is finished, Randolph Simon said the orders will be filled as the Hawk Pantry and the Houston Food Bank combine forces to keep students supplied with grocery items.

"To participate in the Food for Change program, students must complete a one-time application with 10 questions, and any enrolled student who applies will be accepted," she said.

There are no financial eligibility requirements; upon applying for the program, students will receive information and a time slot to pick up their groceries. Randolph Simon said students can select food by placing an online order for up to 30 pounds of healthy food, with half of it being produce, in addition to protein, dry goods and refrigerated/frozen items.

"When the order is ready, volunteers will load the groceries into students' cars. Students without a vehicle can walk up and pick up their groceries," she said.

The Office of Student Advocacy has volunteer opportunities in the Food For Change program, as well as other services as they become available.

"Many students and student organizations are looking for projects to gain services hours. Faculty and staff are also looking for ways to get involved on campus," she continued. "This is a great opportunity to serve the Hawk community."

To apply and schedule your pickup time for free groceries, go online.