STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University’s Purple Pantry received a grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, presented Wednesday by Sodexo General Manager Tanner Smith.
Sodexo has supported the Purple Pantry since its founding in 2015, but this marks the first Stop Hunger Foundation award.
Tarleton is one of 89 campuses across the country to receive Stop Hunger Foundation support this year. The funding emphasizes nutritional food options and complements shared information about healthy food on a budget.
“Sodexo is proud to continue to collaborate to reduce food insecurity in the Tarleton student community,” said Sodexo General Manager Tanner Smith. Food insecurity is a corporate focus for Sodexo through its foundation as well as alliances, partnerships, food recovery efforts and community-specific programming.
Such support couldn’t come at a better time. In a 2020 survey of Texas students, The HOPE Center for College, Community and Justice found that 43 percent of the nearly 13,000 respondents experienced food insecurity in the previous month.
“With the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we have seen pantry use continually increase semester by semester,” said Dr. Lori Helvie-Mason, Tarleton Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. “Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation provides essential support for our students.”
The Purple Pantry offers fresh, refrigerated, frozen and shelf-stable food options. Students may go online to request access on the Stephenville or Fort Worth locations, use their Texan ID to swipe in, and then choose the items they need. Pantry visitors receive follow-up outreach to explore related resources.
Sodexo has been a Tarleton partner since 2009 when it became the on-campus dining provider.