Northwest launches food pantry initiative

March 3, 2020


The OCEANS Galley, a Northwest campus food pantry, is set to launch. Non-perishable donations are now being accepted to stock-up the Galley which will be available to students and faculty who are in need in the dean’s office, room M4.


The Galley can be accessed up to two times per week with an EPCC ID.



Vanessa Rodriguez/ Tejano tribune

Dr. Lydia Tena, Elvia Guzman-Jarnagin and Sonya Rosalez

are in charge of the NW campus's OCEANS Galley. 



The OCEANS initiative was created to encourage students to stay on campus and provide networking opportunities.


OCEANS stands for On-Campus Enrichments Activities for Northwest Students.


Campus Dean, Lydia Tena, Ph.D., talked about the goal for this initiative, “We’ve all seen the research, we know how sometimes our students and even faculty sometimes struggle to put food on the table.  


Our goal is not to just give them an item that they can enjoy right here and now because they’re hungry, we are saying, come take it home and share it with your family.


We are not saying you can only come once a semester to collect.  


If you have the need, come every week.


Whatever we have, we are going to support and be able to give.”  


Tena provided a tour of the Galley and said, “Right now because we have very limited space, we specifically identified canned goods because we do not have refrigeration so nothing perishable and asking people to check expiration dates before they submit.


 Right now our items are being collected in our division office but they are being housed in a small little area outside of our office where we have some cabinetry that we put and that’s where we are storing all donated items.”


Examples of items being accepted are canned items, ramen noodles, jarred and canned sauces and nuts, boxed cereal, crackers and pasta.


Donations can be dropped off in room M4 at the Northwest campus. Tena explained that students do not have to fill out any form, stating, “All we need to know is that you are with the college, now let’s help you, this is what we have, what can you use?” 


Senior Administrative Associate, Elvia Guzman-Jarnagin, and Administrative Assistant, Sonya Rosalez, are the two staff members that have volunteered for this initiative and are handling the collections and donations distributions.


Tena shared their responsibilities for this initiative, “They do inventory and keep track of everything so there is a lot of accountability so that we know what items came in and then when donations are distributed they use the ID number and account for what we gave them.” 


“The building itself is actually in the shape of a ship.


” Tena shared background details related to the northwest campus design and how it relates to the naming of the OCEANS Galley.  


“Our conference room goes out to a peak and the side alongside the freeway is the ‘port-side’ of the ship.


I coined that term, the OCEANS initiative and tied it all together.  


This particular semester, from this point on, we are now launching our Galley, a Galley of course as you know is the kitchen of a ship.  


Our Galley is something that we will be able to house out of this office so anybody that has that has a need would just come here and then be taken to the Galley, to let them select items that they can take with them to help them with a meal for their household.”


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