Courtesy of UNT Dallas Marketing & Communications
In an effort to help reduce the stress of food insecurity and make this holiday season a bit more festive, The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) in southern Dallasis doubling up this month by hosting two mobile food pantry drive-through events on Friday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m.-noon and Saturday, Dec. 16, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on the UNT Dallas campus (7300 University Hills Blvd., Dallas, TX 75241). Both events – which will provide food boxes for a total of 2,000 families – are free and open to the public.
Friday’s event is being held in partnership with the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) and will benefit approximately 500 families. Saturday’s event is sponsored by Dallas nonprofit Services of Hope with support also provided by Aetna and students from the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program and UNT Dallas Trailblazer Elite Program. Up to 1,500 families will receive a 40-lb. box of food, including a ham or turkey.
UNT Dallas began hosting on-campus mobile food pantries in early 2020 during the pandemic to serve college students and their families – and they were an immediate success. Recognizing that job losses, shrinking budgets and rising costs remain, UNT Dallas embraced and expanded the program, conducting monthly events for nearly four years.
Working with the North Texas Food Bank and other nonprofits, nearly 409,000 lbs. of food have been donated in 2023, providing approximately 13,000 families with meals. Long lines, wrapping around blocks for miles, demonstrate the ongoing need.
”These monthly mobile pantry events have become ingrained in our culture here at UNT Dallas,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “Every year as the university grows and our connections in the community deepen, it becomes even more crucial that we fulfill our social responsibility and cultivate a campus ethos of compassion and kindness. Beyond offering nourishment and support, these events also provide a powerful lesson to our students who serve as volunteers, helping them to realize the importance of giving back.”
President Mong hopes the Saturday event will accommodate those individuals who have missed out in the past due to work obligations.
Participants will be asked to complete a simple intake form while remaining inside their cars. UNT Dallas volunteers will load a box of food into each person’s trunk. UNT Dallas police officers will direct the flow of traffic entering and exiting the campus.
In addition to the drives, UNT Dallas also operates a year-round food pantry on campus for students needing assistance.
For more information about the mobile pantry drives, go to untdallas.edu.
About UNT Dallas
The University of North Texas at Dallas empowers students, transforms lives and strengthens communities. UNT Dallas is one of the most diverse public universities in the metroplex, the only public, 4-year university in the city of Dallas and the most affordable 4-year university in Dallas-Fort Worth. UNT Dallas includes the UNT Dallas College of Law (accredited by the American Bar Association) in Downtown Dallas and is part of the University of North Texas System. For more information, visit untdallas.edu.