Meet one of our USC satellite pantry guests, Antonio!
Antonio is currently a senior at USC, studying business administration with a minor in Applied Computer Security, a first-generation college student, and a recipient of the satellite pantry service we provide at USC.
Antonio grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During high school, as his family life became more unstable, he started working at the age of 16 to support himself. Most of his days consisted of school, working from 4:00-10:00pm, and then coming home and doing homework.
“At seventeen, I was drifting around and sleeping at places like my grandmother’s or cousin’s place, more often than I was sleeping at home.”
Antonio never thought he could go to college. However, he decided to apply, after someone said it was a possibility, and his choices came down to UW Madison or USC. Despite knowing he could not afford the first year, let alone the next three years, Antonio decided to go to USC, because he knew he would greatly benefit from the worldly exposure and perspective. To prepare financially for USC, Antonio was working around 80-90 hours a week the summer before college.
Antonio came to USC with only $400 and a suitcase. With all the expenses he had from moving and starting school, he was not able to afford a blanket for his bed until a month or two into the semester. There were many times where he wasn’t able to pay for basic things, such as laundry.
“Many times I felt very tied between spending more time studying or spending time trying to figure out how to get money so I can stay enrolled in the classes I wanted to take.”
According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, there are potentially millions of college students at risk of being food insecure across the U.S. SFC launched a satellite pantry at University of Southern California last year to help provide food security for students in our community. The Trojan Food Pantry provides free, nutritious groceries for USC students, including low-income students, international students, and graduate students, some with families.
Antonio is thankful for the satellite pantry at USC because it has provided him with fresh produce and food as a supplemental resource.
The USC satellite pantry is open four days a week and students can visit weekly to get fresh, nutritious groceries. On average, over 650 students visit the pantry a month!