Arkansas Tech University’s Green and Gold Cupboard has a new resource in the fight against food insecurity on campus.
Tyson Foods has donated 9,800 pounds of frozen chicken to the cupboard, which serves ATU faculty, staff and students in need of access to a consistent source of nutritious food. The donation will help the Green and Gold Cupboard provide for the protein needs of its clients.
“Tyson Foods has created a new initiative called Community Pantry Partners,” said Pat Bourke, corporate social responsibility program manager for Tyson Foods. “We’re doing more targeted deliveries and getting our products into some of our own communities, especially our rural communities. Let’s face it…our rural communities are very much overlooked when it comes to large product donations. Sometimes regional food banks just don’t have the means to distribute. At Tyson Foods, we have our own private fleet of trucks and logistics department. So what we are doing going forward is more and more of these types of product donations in our own Tyson communities.”
The relationship between the ATU Green and Gold Cupboard and Tyson Foods dates back to fall 2016 when Tyson provided a $67,760 grant to help launch the cupboard on the Russellville campus.
The ATU Green and Gold Cupboard celebrated a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29, 2017, and the facility at 1019 N. Arkansas Ave. in Russellville formally opened its doors on Oct. 2, 2017, under the leadership of student organization Because We Can. The ATU University Honors program has since accepted oversight of the program.
Emilee Smith, a junior political science major from Rogers, is among the ATU honors students who ensure that the Green and Gold Cupboard stands ready to serve members of the university community.
“I was here when the pantry first opened, and from where we started to now, the number of people we’ve been able to help grows every semester,” said Smith. “Having access to protein is just as important as canned vegetables and things like that so that we can provide access to a balanced diet. I see the impact this has on our Tech community.”
The ATU Green and Gold Cupboard on the Russellville campus is open Mondays 3-6 p.m., Thursdays 3-6 p.m. and Fridays noon-3 p.m. during the fall 2019 semester. Anyone with a valid ATU identification card and a need is welcome to stop by for a bag of groceries and hygiene products.
Volunteers are needed to weigh donations, stock shelves, keep the building tidy and serve clients. Individuals interested in volunteering at the Green and Gold Cupboard are asked to send e-mail to email@example.com.
Learn more about the Green and Gold Cupboard at www.atu.edu/foodpantry.
Photographed: Representatives from Tyson Foods, the ATU University Honors program and the ATU Office of Information Systems were among those who gave their time and effort to help unload and store 9,800 pounds of chicken upon its delivery on Friday, Sept. 6.