The 12th Can Food Pantry Receives Donation From Amazon
The 12th Can, a student-run food pantry at Texas A&M University, received a donation from Amazon today that includes six pallets of food and $5,000. The donation will help The 12th Can continue its mission of reducing food insecurity at the university.
“We strive to be a good neighbor and support the communities where we operate,” said Vickie Yakunin, head of community affairs at Amazon. “Later this year, College Station will be one of the first communities to receive Prime Air drone deliveries and one of Amazon’s primary missions is to help solve issues surrounding food insecurity in the communities we service. The 12th Can is an incredible organization bringing real change to Texas A&M University and we’re proud to aid their efforts toward addressing food insecurity on campus.”
The 12th Can was established in 2013 with goals to support all Aggies who might be facing hunger and end food insecurity. The pantry is based on a client-choice model that replicates a comfortable shopping experience for clients.
“The main goal is just making them feel comfortable and natural and able to have a choice in what they eat,” said The 12th Can Public Relations Director Shelby Wright.
On a typical day, The 12th Can serves up to 260 individuals. When the households of these individuals are considered, the services touch around 600 lives per pantry opening, Wright said.
“This donation from Amazon is a clear signal to our student team that we are doing what we need to do,” Wright said. “We’re actively promoting The 12th Can and its mission, and we’re making a large enough impact that companies like Amazon are not only taking notice but expressing a desire to be part of our mission.”
In addition to the main pantry, the nonprofit student organization recently created 14 pocket pantries on campus*, including in the Department of Student Activities (Koldus Building), the Corps of Cadets (Buzbee Leadership Learning Center), and Aggie One Stop in the General Services Building. Pocket pantries supply emergency food relief when The 12th Can’s primary location is closed.
“Pocket pantries are short-term solutions for hunger,” Wright said. “While they will not necessarily provide food for students for a week as our main pantry would, they do provide food to help students get through a day or two, and they can stop by and grab a few items in several campus locations.”
Wright emphasized that the student need for food aid is the pertinent and ongoing need in the Texas A&M community. “It’s easy for people to forget hunger is an issue when it is not something that affects them individually,” she said. “When all of us are stressed about finals, projects and all these superficial things, there are people who are deeply concerned about their next meal. That’s why we’re here to help mitigate some of that stress for our students and our staff.”
According to a 2021 survey conducted by Undergraduate Student Experience in the Research University, 19% of surveyed Texas A&M students replied “I couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals” somewhat often in the last 12 months, and 16% of undergraduate students claimed that the food they bought did not last them long enough, but they could not afford to purchase more.
Executive Director Brooke White said The 12th Can is experiencing a need it has never seen before. “With the rising cost of living, including the cost of groceries, we are seeing more clients than we have in the past,” she said. “This week we ran out of time slots for our clients to visit the pantry, which is the first time this has ever happened in our history, so we’re still trying to figure out how to navigate this situation. Every time we open, with few exceptions, our shelves are wiped clean. That’s why we are so grateful for this donation. It will help us restock for the next opening, which is a huge relief!”
The 12th Can’s next pantry opening is Sept. 28 through Sept. 29. Students in need may sign up for a time slot by visiting the sign-up page on The 12th Can website.
The 12th Can is not funded by Texas A&M University; rather, it is financially independent and 100% student-run, running solely from monetary donations, food donations, fundraising, and sponsorships. A $20 donation supplies up to 35 meals to clients. This is achievable with the support of selfless donors and by strategically bulk purchasing from our agency partner, Brazos Valley Food Bank.
You can support the 12th Can Food Pantry at Texas A&M. Contact Reagan Chessher ’96, senior director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 979-458-1689. Donate online to The 12th Can Operating Fund. The 12th Can also accepts food donations through independent food drives with student organizations, businesses and affiliated partners. Items in greatest demand include pasta, ramen noodles, canned protein and fruit, and boxed or instant milk.
* This link is no longer active and has been removed.