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TruWest® Credit Union has partnered with Mesa Community College (MCC) to refurbish its free market pantry for students in need and support success in higher education. The “Mesa Market” is a food and resource pantry accessible to Mesa Community College students. The Tempe-based credit union worked cooperatively with MCC on the project by renovating the space over the course of five days. The upgrade included tearing out cabinets, adding new tile, painting the walls, adding shelving to store food, wall lettering and the addition of a Mesa Market sign on the front door. TruWest also provided volunteer assistance and helped to stock the shelves with in-kind donations.
According to a study by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, 48 percent of community college students who responded to the center’s survey are food insecure.
“Our mission is to see students succeed in all aspects of life and in order to do so we need to provide them with the proper resources,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of TruWest Credit Union, Gary Bernard. “Refurbishing this market from start to finish has been an incredible experience and we are so grateful for the opportunity we get to play in assisting these students to receive the help they need in order to achieve a higher education.”
All students can receive up to 10 nonperishable food items and five hygiene products per week. Clothing items are also available, depending on donation inventory. Students need to show their student ID in order to shop at the market, but no other compensation is required.
“We want MCC students to know we care for them and providing food and clothing in Mesa Market is one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to their success,” said Lori Berquam, Mesa Community College interim president. “Through TruWest’s generous support we now have a beautiful, high functioning and fully stocked Mesa Market and clothing closet. Students tell us that the Market makes a difference in their lives and helps them to better focus their energy on education.”
The Mesa Market is located in the Kirk Student Center (KSC) 173 at the Southern and Dobson campus and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.