WNMU Opens One Stop in Deming

WNMU has opened a second location of its One Stop in Deming. The pantry provides food and other necessities at no charge to students and the rest of the campus community. (L-R: Tiffany Hassman, WNMU President Joseph Shepard, Student Services Coordinator Kimberly Woodard, Aubrey Perales, May 24, 2024)

© Western New Mexico University

The WNMU One Stop—a pantry providing food and other necessities free of charge to students, staff, and faculty—has opened its second location in the WNMU Mimbres Learning Center in Deming.

The new branch is set up very similarly to the original One Stop on the Silver City campus, said Student Services Coordinator Kimberly Woodard. Like the Silver City location, the One Stop—Deming has a commercial refrigerator, a freezer, and shelving to hold products.

Also like the main campus location, the Deming branch is available to everyone at the university—students, staff and faculty. Another similarity, said Woodward, is that “There is no limit on the number of visits or the amount of items they can take.”

Woodward does expect there to be some differences in the types of products stocked at each location. “We are trying to cater [the Deming branch] more toward what Deming students are needing,” she said. “On the main campus, we have a lot of students in dorms that have very different needs than students that are out on their own, nontraditional students.  The students that are in the dorms, they need more items that are microwavable or can be cooked in an air fryer—the cooking implements they can have in the dorms. Whereas the nontraditional students typically have full kitchens.”

Woodward sees the purpose of the new branch as twofold. “A lot of [the Deming students} have jobs and families and a lot of outside responsibilities, so if I can do anything to curb the cost of groceries for an entire family while they are going to school, I will,” she said, “But I also just want to make things easier for them. If you can stop at one place and get the hygiene items and the food that you need, like fresh produce… If we can provide that, why wouldn’t we?”

By providing for students’ basic needs, said Woodard, the university is also having an effect on academics. “If you know your school is providing for your basic needs,” she said, “then you can free up that mind space to concentrate on class and employment. It is also a stress reliever.”

Woodard emphasized that the food and other necessities provided by the One Stop are completely free for students, staff, and faculty. “It is not paid for by student fees, it is not paid for by student tuition, and nothing increases for the students to be able to have this service,” she said, “It is completely donated, so it is really free for them.”

WNMU can provide this service at no cost because of grant funding as well as generous donations. According to Woodard, the university is the recipient of a Project Success grant, which partly funds the One Stop. Project Success is a program founded by Federal Student Aid to help Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) support their students. It is aimed at strengthening student outcomes and institutional performance at MSIs.

In addition to this grant, the One Stop receives food donations from Roadrunner Food Bank and the Silver City Gospel Mission. Equipment has been donated by the Commons Center for Food Security and Sustainability, and the One Stop receives donations from the community, as well.

Woodard said that WNMU staff and administration are also key to making the One Stop work. Whether making donations themselves or helping to unload food deliveries from the truck, she said, “Everybody just jumps in to help.”

The new location will have two student workers staffing the pantry on a daily basis. Said Woodard, “Both of the work studies I have in Deming are very excited to be working in the pantry there, growing it and making sure we can help as many people as possible.”

“Very caring people are there to help,” she added. “They are genuinely interested in meeting the needs of the community.”

The Deming One Stop is located in Room 131 of the Mimbres Learning Center, 2300 E. Pine St., Deming. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Submit Feedback