Tarleton State University students are helping fellow Texans in a big way, donating more than $6,000 to restock the school’s food pantry.

A student-run effort, the Tarleton Food Pantry opened its doors in 2015 to provide Texans with healthy, nourishing meals when finances are low and when the university’s dining services are closed for holidays.

Just before this year’s winter break, freshman Morgan Salas kicked off the $6,000 initiative with an email to Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio, sharing her idea for students to donate unused Dining Dollars to the pantry.

With the help of Sodexo, Tarleton’s partner in Dining Services, the pre-vet’s idea became a reality. Close to 500 students participated.

“Their giving hearts stand true to Tarleton’s core value of service and make all of us proud to be associated with such an amazing community,” said Erin Warner, the university’s community service and food pantry coordinator. “It is truly an honor to serve these students.

“We are always thankful to receive donations of any kind, whether monetary or non-perishable foodstuffs,” she said.

Suggested food items include: tuna or chicken (canned or pouches); peanut and almond butter; fruit cups and cans of fruit that do not need refrigeration; dried fruit; applesauce; granola; nuts and crackers; canned vegetables; canned/microwavable soups, chili, rice and pasta; oatmeal and dry cereal; pudding cups; and packaged muffins.

Checks can be made to Tarleton State University, noting “food pantry” in the memo, and mailed to: Tarleton State University-Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Box T-0490, Stephenville, Texas 76402.

For more information on the Tarleton Food Pantry, go to www.tarleton.edu/foodpantry.