Over 800 Families Served Through SPC’s Contactless Pop-Up Markets

February 8, 2021

Food insecurity is not a recent challenge among college students. The pandemic, however, has exacerbated the problem for many students as they find ways to meet their basic needs amid the economic impact caused by Covid-19. A survey from Chegg.org found that nearly one-third of students said they had experienced food insecurity since the coronavirus outbreak began. Additionally, more than half of respondents reported the use of off-campus food banks for food assistance.

To address food insecurity, which affects more than 40% of Alamo Colleges’ students, the Alamo College District and the San Antonio Food Bank launched Pop-Up Markets in June 2020. The markets provide healthy food to students, employees, and the surrounding community through a no-contact drive-through. They also served in place of existing on-campus food pantries that have been inaccessible due to campus visit restrictions. The St. Philip’s College pop-up market location has served a total of 898 families between August 2020 and January 2021.  

“We serve students who are caring for and financially supporting children, family members, and friends throughout the San Antonio community. These monthly food distributions allow us to ease some of the burden students face with a wave, encouraging words, and bags of groceries. By addressing the hidden challenge of food insecurity in the homes of our students and their family members, we are helping students focus more on their studies,” said Interim Director of Advocacy, Eitandria Tello.

The St. Philip’s College Pop-Up Markets are coordinated by the Department of Student Success and executed with the help of faculty, staff, and student volunteers. Volunteers also benefit from their service as it allows them to feel more socially connected and aids in warding off the feelings of stress and isolation caused by social distancing.

Having volunteers from various areas of the college has positively impacted the markets as oftentimes students and their families connect with volunteers who can refer them to additional services provided at the college. Services through the St. Philip’s College Advocacy Center, Safe SPaCe, have continued to assist students with wraparound support services remotely.

“The people at the advocacy center have been such a blessing during this challenging school year. The pop-up markets help tremendously, there is always someone available to help and it is done with nothing but kindness,” said student, Dareon Morris.

The Pop-Up Markets are scheduled weekly at all five of the Alamo Colleges and the Eastside Education and Training Center. To view the full schedule, click here. To volunteer, contact Eitandria Tello at egatlin2@alamo.edu.

Upcoming SPC Pop-Up Market Dates
February 18, 2021 - Feb. Registration Link: https://freshtrak.com/register/event/31676
March 4, 2021
April 15, 2021
May 20, 2021

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