Monthly program helps those in need
By Juan Ibarra/campus editor
A multitude of events are hosted on TCC’s different campuses, however one event in particular helps out more than just the students and faculty.
The NW Campus Community Food Market is a monthly event hosted in partnership with the Saginaw Food Pantry and the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For the last two years, the market has allowed for students, faculty and community members to receive groceries ranging from rice and cabbage to a variety of proteins.
“We have a registration process, but it is need-based,” said Lisa Benedetti, NW divisional dean of humanities. “Anyone that is in need can come, they don’t have to meet a criteria for income or anything like that.”
The impact of the community market has proven to show exactly how beneficial the venture is. At its peak, there have been as many as 350 people in the market receiving food. Overall, there has been a large quantity of individuals and families helped by the market.
“On any given month, we only have around 50% returning,” Benedetti said. “So, we’re serving a new population every month.”
The amount of food donated to the TCC market from the Saginaw Food Pantry and the Tarrant Area Food Bank has increased this year over the previous one. The data from the market is gathered by NW Campus logistics students and utilized to find new ways to improve the monthly marketplace.
“We keep stats on the number of families helped and not only that but also within those families, the number of people served by this event,” said Lourdes Davenport, NW coordinator of special projects.
At first glance, the market may appear to be just another TCC community event, but to those who are in need the market stands for more than that.
“Food and security and food fear is a real thing,” Benedetti said. “They line up and try to spend the night in order to be first in line. It’s definitely a relevant and important issue.”
Tarrant County has one-in-five children who are unsure of where their next meal will come from, according to feedingamerica.org.
The Community Food Market is showing success, however Benedetti wants to remind students the market is always there every month and should be used to their advantage.
“We have three goals here at TCC, and our third goal is to serve the community,” Benedetti said.