CORPUS CHRISTI – Izzy’s Food Pantry at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted its third large-scale food giveaway in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

This giveaway, held April 16 with support from the Coastal Bend Food Bank, was slightly different than the last two, as it was a drive-up distribution process, and included many fresh food items like watermelons, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, and apples; meats like chicken, pork tenderloin, and ham; bread products including tortillas; and other pantry staples like canned soups and drinks.

“I was really impressed with the spread, and I am glad the University is going to such depths to provide for us Islanders,” said Joshua Esparza, an Islander English graduate student. “There was pretty much anything a person could need to get through the next week, and that was incredible.”

The event started at 11 a.m. at the Momentum Village campus housing parking lot on Ennis Joslin, and even before the giveaway officially kicked off, the line of vehicles stretched to Ocean Drive.

The food giveaway was open to all Islander students, staff, and faculty, with students receiving priority times to collect their items.

“I am so glad that we were able to offer a food drive-up distribution for our Islander Community and especially for our students,” said Dr. Lisa Perez, Assistant Vice President of Student Life in the Division of Student Engagement and Success. “We continue to work hard at eliminating food insecurity so that our students can be successful through their academic careers. “

More than 400 Islanders made their way through the assembly line to receive food.

“At lunch time, I received a message from a grateful student who went through the line this morning and had nothing but feelings of gratitude to share,” said Zelda Chacon, Director of the University Health Center, who referred students to the event. “She stated that students are so lucky to have this available to them during this tough time.”

Social distancing rules were followed during the food giveaway. Participants were asked to pop their truck to limit face-to-face interactions and volunteers wore protective PPE (mask and gloves) to make sure to keep everyone safe.

“Today was remarkable,” said Suzanne Bonds, Licensed Professional Counselor at the University Counseling Center, who participated in the event. “It was like a well-oiled machine of efficiency and volunteerism with safety precautions. I felt such pride in the Islander Way and saw a lot of my Student Engagement and Success division peers working hard, along with UPD officers, working to keep traffic safe and flowing well. It was an incredible effort and I’m grateful to work with such fine people.”

Izzy’s Food Pantry remains available to Islander students through their food distribution events held throughout the spring semester. Call 361.825.FOOD (3663) for more information.