The University of Texas at Arlington has received a helping hand from The Kroger Co. to aid students facing food insecurity.
Kroger is supporting UTA students with a five-year, $250,000 commitment to the UTA Maverick Pantry presented by Kroger. The gift will help with ongoing operational costs, such as expenses for products, staffing, programming and outreach. The gift is part of the grocery chain’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste commitment, an initiative that seeks to create communities free from hunger and waste by 2025.
“This generous commitment from Kroger will help the Maverick Pantry keep its commitment to maintaining equitable access to food and essential items so all members of the University can thrive academically, personally and professionally,” said Jennifer Cowley, UTA president. “Our primary focus is always to support our students.”
The pantry opened with a soft launch in fall 2021. After additional renovations and furnishings, the UTA Maverick Pantry presented by Kroger is now fully operational. It includes services aimed at food insecurity; provisions such as baby food, formula and diapers for student parents; discounted cap and gown rental for commencement; and a professional development closet with work-appropriate attire for students going to interviews.
“Kroger is proud to support The University of Texas at Arlington through our five-year commitment to the Maverick Pantry. Ending food insecurity in the communities we serve is the cornerstone of Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative and through long-term partnerships like this, we know we can make a significant impact,” said Keith Shoemaker, Kroger Dallas Division president. “At Kroger, we aim to ‘Feed the Human Spirit’ and through this donation, we hope UTA students will never have to worry about their next meal—and can continue to focus on their studies and excel as our future leaders.”
“When Mavericks walk through the doors of UTA’s pantry, we want them to feel heard, seen and recognized,” said Jessica Sanchez, director of UTA’s Student Advocacy Services. “Our goal is to feed student success by operating an inclusive pantry that offers holistic support services.”