The neatly arranged rows of boxed and canned foods, diapers and wipes, laundry detergent and other household goods make a statement that this pantry is tended to by someone who cares deeply about its appearance and its purpose,

That someone is Latrice Gooden, a student volunteer at the Food For Thought pantry at the Abilene campus of Cisco College.

Martha Montgomery checks paperwork in the Food for Thought pantry for students at the Abilene campus of Cisco College. A display table holds samples of food in the pantry and handouts on where to get food and meals in Abilene. Photos by Loretta Fulton

At 50, Gooden has lived through more life experiences than many college students. Her husband is on a waiting list for a heart and lung transplant. She has had brain surgery. Gooden and her husband are raising a grandson, 17, while Gooden is striving to finish an associate degree in general studies in time to graduate in May.

Besides volunteering in the school’s food pantry, Gooden also works in the dual credit office. She does it all, not with complaint but with a cheerful spirit and grateful heart. She understands why the food pantry at Cisco College is so important. She not only is responsible for the pantry’s tidy appearance, she also is a customer of the free goods on the shelves.

“I know it gets hard sometimes between paychecks,” Gooden said.

Gooden doesn’t know it, but she could be one of the faces in a study on food insecurity among college students that was conducted in the spring by Shannon Que, an Abilene Christian University student.

Read story by Loretta Fulton in the Reporter-News

Top: Photo of  Shannon Que by Loretta Fulton


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