The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Food for a year

Most people wouldn’t guess there are Aggies on campus walking to class hungry, unable to afford food.
The 12th Can, a student-run on-campus food pantry, aims to combat food insecurity. On Monday, the pantry grew closer to its goals.
In an effort to connect the agricultural technology company Elanco with the A&M community, Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco, announced Monday the company will begin a yearlong sponsorship with the 12th Can.
Elanco’s goal will be to keep the 12th Can stocked at all times, Simmons said.
“Next year we want to support [the 12th Can] with enough food for all year, so [it] can put [its] energy into bringing more people in and more food drives,” Simmons said.
Simmons said he hopes the sponsorship of the 12th Can will allow more people to realize the reality of hunger on campus.
This sponsorship incorporates Texas A&M into the goal Elanco has set for 100 food-secure communities nationwide.
“So, A&M, you guys are now in our corporate brotherhood of food secure communities that will continue to build, and you will see things coming in the next couple of years as we continue to build that support,” said Jack McReynolds, technical consultant for Elanco.
Derek McKee, co-chair of the 12th Can, said the food pantry opened in 2013 and currently sponsors 270 recipients.
McKee said many international graduate students receive food from the 12th Can because they are using their money for tuition and research.
“By the time that a lot of them are done with their research work, they don’t have a lot of time to go get a full-time job to pay for their food and their housing,” McKee said. “After they pay for their housing to put a roof over their heads, they don’t have a lot of money to provide sustenance for themselves.”
The pantry also assists a large population of staff, specifically groundskeepers and maintenance workers, McKee said, many of which have families to feed.
McKee said he gained his passion for the pantry through personal interactions with the recipients of the food. One recipient returned to the pantry to thank McKee and told him that if not for the 12th Can, she would not have been able to feed her family the night she received food.
Simmons said student volunteers with the 12th Can are among the people who will solve the world hunger crisis.
“We are going to break the cycle of hunger and hungry communities,” Simmons said. “It will be people finding their own hunger to end hunger.”

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