Lone Star College-University Park launches Leo’s Shelf, an on-site food pantry

leo's shelf lone star college university park food pantry
Leo's Shelf is LSC-University Park’s on-site food pantry designed to serve campus community members with free grab-and-go meals, snacks, nonperishable pantry items and personal hygiene products. (Courtesy Lone Star College-University Park)

Leo's Shelf is LSC-University Park’s on-site food pantry designed to serve campus community members with free grab-and-go meals, snacks, nonperishable pantry items and personal hygiene products. (Courtesy Lone Star College-University Park)

Lone Star College-University Park, located at 20515 Hwy. 249, Houston, announced the opening of Leo’s Shelf, an on-site food pantry, in a news release Jan. 21.

Created by the campuswide Food Insecurity Task Force, the food pantry is designed to serve campus community members with free grab-and-go meals, snacks, nonperishable pantry items and personal hygiene products, according to the release. The project will be managed by faculty and staff volunteers.

“At LSC-University Park, our students’ well being and their success are the highest priorities for administrators, faculty and staff,” LSC-UP President Shah Ardalan said in a statement. “Leo’s Shelf is another faculty-led initiative focused on removing barriers such as food insecurity for our students.”

The initiative is an attempt to tackle food insecurity among students, as an estimated 48% of community college students and 41% of university students are considered food-insecure, according to a 2019 national survey and report from Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

The report identifies food insecurity as a common source of stress across college campuses nationwide and also suggests food insecurity can be linked to lower graduation rates.


To stock Leo’s Shelf, LSC-UP’s Student Learning Resource Center established a “Food for Fines” initiative in December, meaning students could donate nonperishable pantry items in lieu of overdue library fines, the release states. Additionally, the college hosted a “Leo’s Shelf Sculpture Competition” in which students, faculty and staff were charged with creating sculptures out of canned food and personal hygiene products.

“We understand that food insecurity is a real issue and Leo’s Shelf is an acknowledgement of the problem,” said Cassandra Khatri, political science professor and campus coordinator of the Office of Civic Engagement, in a statement. “I am so grateful to LCS-University Park administration and the campus community for their support, time and donations, which allowed us to open with a stocked pantry.”

For more information about Leo’s Shelf, visit room B13.210B or email [email protected].
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.



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