A ribbon cutting ceremony on March 6 marked the opening of the Roadrunner Pantry, an on campus food bank providing food and other essentials to students with a valid UTSA ID at no charge. The pantry is located on the first floor of the UC next to the UPS store.
The primary hours of operation for the Roadrunner Pantry are Mon. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wed. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Fri. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; however, UC staff will be able to provide pre-stocked emergency bags to students 24 hours a day. These emergency bags should include basic food staples such as macaroni, canned tuna and the like.
In addition to food items, the pantry also offers toiletries such as soap, shampoo and toothbrushes kept in a metal cabinet on the left side of the room next to a digital scale—the first donation made to the pantry. Since then, hundreds of dollars and thousands of pounds of food have come in, filling the shelves throughout the room.
The Roadrunner Pantry, though associated with the SA Food Bank and with UTSA itself, is in many ways the product of student efforts. Rebecca Conejo, senior English major and UC student manager, who spoke at the event, is one of the founders of the service. Conejo, along with Nikki Lee, UC senior associate director of events management, organized the pantry after they learned of similar programs at other universities.
Plenty of other students are working with the pantry, both as volunteers and in more official capacities as in the case of Taylor Cole, a sophomore multidisciplinary studies major, who designed the pantry’s logo and worked with marketing the program. Cole captured the ethos of the pantry, remarking “the food bank was a way for the San Antonio community, and the UTSA community of course, to help students with coming to school and being able to afford their textbooks and able to eat a decent meal, feel nourished and have the energy from proper foods rather than just ramen every day.”
Just before cutting the ribbon, Conejo spoke of her hopes for the pantry, calling on the spectators to support the cause. “Even if you just skip Starbucks for a day, and donate that five dollars,” she said “every donation helps.” Ending on a hopeful note, she said she “(couldn’t) wait to come back in five or ten years and see how the pantry has grown.”
For updates and information on how to donate or volunteer, check the Roadrunner Pantry page on the utsa.edu
site or follow the pantry on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.