Northwest Vista College Opens Permanent Food Pantry

March 19, 2019

Photo of Northwest Vista College's Food Pantry

In the last few months, nearly 200 Northwest Vista College (NVC) students have benefitted from much-needed pop-up food pantries. No questions were asked of the students and many of them left expressing their gratitude for the free food.

Yet the number of students at the college who say they don’t have enough food to eat on a daily basis keeps rising. To address this need, NVC opened a permanent food pantry, located in Huisache Hall, on March 18, which will be open five days a week and the first Saturday of each month. Starting out, students can visit twice a month and fill up a bag with food and other necessities, such as diapers and toiletries.

With the help of the San Antonio Food Bank, NVC has stocked its pantry with both dry goods and perishables. So far, about 1,400 pounds of food have been purchased from the Food Bank. With the help of donations from NVC employees, the Food Pantry has another $6,000 available to use this calendar year to restock its shelves.Both students and employees can utilize the Food Pantry with their NVC identification badge.

Along with NVC, San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, Northeast Lakeview and St. Philip’s College also have food pantries to help students. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office December 2018 report, traditional full-time college students who depend on their parents are in the minority. Today, about half of all undergraduate students in 2016 were considered financially independent from their parents. About 22 percent had dependent children themselves, and 14 percent were single parents. The report added that 64 percent of college students in 2016 worked at least part time while enrolled, and a quarter worked full time.

Student demographics at NVC also illustrate there’s a strong need for resources beyond teaching. Just two years ago, 41.8 percent of NVC’s 16,752 enrollment were considered economically disadvantaged. Overall, about 72 percent of all Alamo Colleges District students received financial aid for the fall of 2018.