CNM Food Pantry Expanding Offerings to Students

Since opening last December, CNM’s food pantry has supplied free groceries to hundreds of students. Now it’s looking for ways to expand beyond just food.
June 16, 2022

As the cost of essentials like food, gas, and housing continue to rise, CNM’s food pantry has become a vital resource for many students feeling the pinch of higher prices. 

Since opening in the Student Resource Center (SRC) Library on Main Campus last December, the food pantry has been able to provide free groceries to 100—200 students each week. Every Wednesday between 3-6 p.m., students can stop by the food pantry and pick up an assortment of fresh produce and non-perishable food items.

“A lot of our students struggle with food insecurity, so being able to have the food pantry open really helps those who might not have the means to purchase fresh food from a grocery store,” says Valerie Gutierrez, an employee from the Student Activities Office who helps with the food pantry.

The goal of the food pantry is to help alleviate one of the barriers that might be preventing students from achieving their educational goals. Any student in need is encouraged to stop by on Wednesdays and pick up a bag of food. The only requirement is that students bring their CNM ID card.   

Local nonprofits MoGro and Roadrunner Food Bank help keep the food pantry’s shelves stocked with produce and non-perishable food items. But as the pantry’s reach continues to grow, Valerie says they’re also looking for ways to expand beyond just food. Basic items like soap and toothpaste can also be difficult for some students to afford, which is why the CNM Cares Crew has organized a Toiletry Drive to benefit the food pantry.

“We wanted to focus on toiletries as well because that’s another insecurity that a lot of people have,” Valerie says.

The Toiletry Drive began on June 1 and will run through the end of the month. However, Valerie says the need for toiletries is ongoing.

Specifically, the CNM food pantry is in need of the following items:

  • Body/face wash
  • Deodorant
  • Disposable razors
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Floss
  • Lotion
  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste

If you’re interested in donating, please note that items must be new in the box or individually wrapped. Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Main (Student Services Center, Student Resource Center-Library, JS Building)
  • Montoya (Richard Barr Hall/Library)
  • Rio Rancho (Lobby Front Desk)
  • Westside (Security Station in Michael J. Glennon Building)

Looking ahead to the Fall Term, Valerie says there are plans to open two additional food pantries at CNM’s South Valley and Westside campuses. Ultimately, she says the hope is to have a food pantry on every CNM campus.

“They’re probably not going to be as big as the food pantry on Main Campus, but we are in the process of getting those open,” Valerie says.

The CNM food pantry is operated by the Dean of Students Office in partnership with the Student Activities Office. Funding for the food pantry comes from the CNM Foundation and its generous donors. Monetary donations can be made through the CNM Foundation’s Feeding Families Fund.