Grant helps Aggie Cupboard improve support for NMSU

Not having enough to eat or not having basic necessities such as toiletries can make it difficult for students to succeed in their graduate studies.

A $ 20,000 grant from the Educational Credit Management Corporation Foundation will help several departments at New Mexico State University (NMSU) meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

Aggie Cupboard, which is an on-campus service at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center that provides students, faculty, and staff with free additional food assistance, is one of the grant recipients.

“In the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, our personal care items have been hit the hardest in trying to keep up with demand,” said Amanda Blair, interim executive director of the Center for Health and Wellness. Aggie well-being. “Currently, we do not purchase any personal care items, and these are provided only from donations. We see an extreme need to expand this area in our pantry, as we often run out or have nothing to provide. “

With grant funds, Aggie Cupboard will focus on new initiatives and expanding current services. For the first time, Aggie Cupboard will purchase toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, diapers, deodorants and feminine hygiene products. The funds will also be used to purchase industrial shelving for installation.

Another way to help students overcome obstacles is to help them where they are, and Aggie Cupboard has expanded its reach across campus. Program Specialist Amanda Nunez has established campus partnerships with organizations such as American Indian Programs, Black Programs, Chicano Programs, and the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Partnerships allow program officials to offer food bags to students in exchange for an Aggie ID card.

“These connections are vital to the success of Aggie Cupboard’s efforts because they serve as our voice,” said Nunez. “Often, students don’t realize the resources available on campus, and these programs make sure that students are aware of the help available to them. It is also important to involve these programs as they often get a deeper picture of the student struggle in the sense that students will feel more comfortable going to these offices.

“We work together trying to prevent students from falling through the cracks and experiencing food insecurity or lack of other resources. In the future, I hope to expand to other programs and possibly create more stations for students to collect food, ”said Nunez.

NMSU started working with ECMC in early 2021, when ECMC Project Success was launched. The three-year project aims to retain graduate students from NMSU. His non-profit organization, ECMC Foundation, works to improve post-secondary outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Project Success provides many tools and support to help students reach their academic potential,” said Tony Marin, assistant vice president of student affairs. “This grant will help Aggies who may be food insecure and / or who lack basic toiletries that I have grown to appreciate more. The financial support dedicated to the Aggie Cupboard of the ECMC Foundation is greatly appreciated.

Aggie Cupboard is located at 906 Gregg St. and is open for food distribution from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Aggie Cupboard is open daily if students, faculty, and staff cannot make it during distribution hours but still need food assistance. Once a week, students, faculty, and staff are allowed to pick up non-perishable items with valid Aggie ID.

Additionally, the Mobile Food Pantry provides another support resource on campus. With the support of the Roadrunner Food Bank and the Casa de Peregrinos, the Mobile Food Pantry offers perishable food once a month. The Mobile Food Pantry distribution location is located at the southwest corner of Preciado Park from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is open on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Individuals should bring a box, bin or cart to transport items, as boxes are not always available.

Aggie Cupboard accepts donations of non-perishable food and toiletries. The organization also accepts monetary donations. For more information on Aggie Cupboard, click here or call 575-646-7636.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU

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