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Serving Up Student Success: Whataburger Opens Resource Rooms to Support Students

Alabama State University

Helping Hornets Achieve by Tackling Student Food Insecurity

September 1, 2021

Whataburger is proud to partner with Alabama State University to provide enhanced access to food products and toiletries through the opening of the Alabama State University Resource Room powered by Whataburger. With the help of partners like the Montgomery Area Food Bank, students will have year-round access to nutritious food options at no cost to them.

The new Alabama State University Resource Room powered by Whataburger also will include a clothing closet where students can find business attire for professional development activities, interviews, and other occasions. Attire from the clothing closet also will be available to students at no cost.

The enhanced resource room is made possible by Whataburger’s three-year commitment of support as part of the Whataburger Feeding Student Success program to help students succeed on their college journey. The Alabama State University Resource Room powered by Whataburger is the third Resource Room to open in 2021.

University of Texas at San Antonio

UTSA Reopens Former Roadrunner Pantry as the “UTSA Whataburger Resource Room”

August 25, 2021

At Whataburger, we know a little help can go a long way. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to reopen its Main Campus resource room – now officially the UTSA Whataburger Resource Room – stocked with even more food items, toiletries, school supplies, and essentials than before. With help from our friends at the San Antonio Food Bank, nutritious food is now available again to students, free of charge, year-round.

The UTSA Whataburger Resource Room is open to all UTSA students. A similar Whataburger resource room operates at the UTSA Downtown Campus.

The UTSA Whataburger Resource Room is part of the company’s Feeding Student Success Program, a corporate-wide community relations initiative that supports students of all education levels through school resource rooms, scholarships and community involvement. The UTSA Whataburger Resource Room is the second to open in 2021, with others planned in the future.

Grambling State University

Uniting to Help Tigers Roar to Success

January 28, 2021

Karmel Reeves has heard the question more than once.

“They ask, ‘are you cooking today?... my cupboards are a bit empty’,” she says. “Those are the conversations that are very common.”

Reeves, the 2019-2020 Graduate Student Government Association President at Grambling State University, knew issues of food insecurity for college students went far deeper than the friends she could invite to share her table.

So she, and other student leaders like Steven Wilson, Grambling’s 2019-2020 SGA President, rolled up their sleeves and began laying the groundwork to support their fellow students.

Wilson said his predecessor in student government had a tiny food pantry in his closet, but an assessment survey on the campus showed much more was needed.

“Could we go a little bit further with this and actually start a food pantry or food bank initiative – and make it a big deal for the student body that will be all-inclusive and all access?” he wondered. The students reached out to regional food banks, found a location on campus, and spent nearly two years developing a plan.

The students pitched their detailed plan for a Tiger Resource Room to Whataburger leaders including CEO Ed Nelson, who unanimously threw the company’s support behind the project. The Tiger Resource Room Powered by Whataburger opened in the Grambling Student Union during the 2020 fall semester, providing emergency food supplies and basic hygiene needs.

“Whataburger is committed to helping students achieve their dreams of a college education and reach career goals. All too often, these can be impacted by the struggle for basic needs,” said Ed Nelson, Whataburger President. “We hope the Tiger Resource Room will provide students healthy food and essential supplies to allow them to successfully continue on their college education journey.”

Grambling students will run the resource room, developing management and business skills as they work with partners including the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana and SodexoMagic, the university’s food services contractor. As the dream becomes a reality, leaders say their biggest success will be helping students realize there’s no shame in asking for help.

University of Texas at San Antonio

From pancakes to pens, the Whataburger Resource Room helps students fuel their dreams

July 29, 2020

Being a college student isn't cheap.

Tuition. Books. Meals. School supplies.Transportation.

It adds up. And adds up in a hurry.

Consider that most students taking a full load of classes are juggling part-time work to supplement loans, and it’s easy to understand why they might be standing in the grocery store aisles trying to decide between buying toothpaste or lunch meat on a given week.

Whataburger is here to help.

In partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio and the San Antonio Food Bank, Whataburger has opened the doors to a new Whataburger Resource Room – a place where UTSA students can go when they’re trying to make ends meet and are facing food insecurity.

Co-branded with fun Whataburger and UTSA decor, the room is stocked with perishable and non-perishable food items and toiletries, including canned goods and dairy products. There’s also Whataburger-branded school supplies like backpacks and pens, bottled water, and fun orange-and-white sunglasses, hand sanitizers, and similar items.

And while students can’t order their favorite Whataburger meal at the Resource Room, they can pick up Whataburger-brand pancake mix, chips, mustard and ketchup, cookies and even fruit chews.

Best of all? It’s 100% free for students who need a boost.

 “Whataburger knows that the dream of a college education can be quickly derailed when students struggle with basic needs,” said Pam Cox, vice president of Human Resources and Brand Communication for Whataburger. “Our support of this pantry is not just an investment in UTSA students, but also in their communities and future generations of Roadrunners.”

The San Antonio Food Bank is working with Whataburger to ensure the shelves stay stocked year-round.

“We are appreciative of Whataburger and the San Antonio Food Bank for their support and longstanding relationship with UTSA,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “These efforts will help us address the food insecurity needs of many students, allowing them to focus on their educational goals. Partnerships like this are helping us to eliminate obstacles that can impede student success, and Whataburger’s commitment toward that goal is to be commended.” 

The Whataburger Resource Room officially opened Feb. 20 with a celebration attended by leaders from Whataburger, the San Antonio Food Bank, and UTSA.

While located at the downtown campus, The Whataburger Resource Room is open to all UTSA students. A similar resource room is open at the UTSA main campus, where it has served more than 10,000 students since it opened in 2017.