WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Wichita Falls rancher, businessman and game warden Pat Canan is a well-known figure in the Fain Fine Arts Center at Midwestern State University.
He enjoys taking ceramics classes and has supported the continuing education program as a student and benefactor for years.
More recently, Canan’s efforts have been directed toward helping students personally, supporting them in an area that is emerging as a major issue for college students throughout the country: food security.
"We became aware of the growing challenges some college students face with food insecurity," he said. "As many students and their respective families try to deal with the expenses related to pursuing a college education, there simply is not a lot of money left for meals and food needs."
In response, Mr. and Mrs. Canan established an innovative scholarship program at MSU Texas that will help ensure that all students can access regular healthy meals, regardless of their financial situation.
"The Canan Food Security Scholarship is consistent with MSU Texas' commitment to supporting students so that they can be successful and complete their degree programs," President Suzanne Shipley said. "The Canans have identified an often overlooked, but crucial, component of academic success. This program has the potential to be an inspiring model for campuses across the country. We know how significant it is already for many of our students."
The Canan contribution jump started the scholarship effort, and Hilton notes that others on campus have taken a big role.
Chartwells, the campus dining and catering service, contributes meals at cost. Residence Life has integrated the program into existing systems. The administration has supported the Food Security wholeheartedly.
Interested students complete a simple application and submit a short statement of need. Those eligible receive funds on a standard campus meal card to provide at least one nutritious meal each day throughout the semester.
Use of the benefit is invisible to others, insuring the privacy and dignity of those seeking assistance. The university has also taken steps to insure a quick-turnaround of requests.
The scholarship program enhances other efforts on campus.
Earlier this year Mustangs Pantry, an emergency food pantry, opened at MSU Texas.
Keith Lamb, Vice President for Student Affairs, said, “Increasing levels of food insecurity among college students present a significant barrier to achieving the dream of an education. We at MSU Texas are trying to be more intentional in addressing this challenge.”
Those who wish to support The Canan Food Security Scholarship at MSU Texas should go online to msutexas.edu/annualfund/make-a-gift or contact University Advancement and Public Affairs.