Thomas worked in construction for 20 years before deciding to shift gears and study agribusiness. But when the unexpected happened and left him struggling to afford enough to eat, you were there to help support him.

Thomas moved from his hometown of Lamar, Colo., to attend college at Kansas State University, leaving behind close family and friends to pursue his passion. He knew finances would be tight, but nothing prepared him for the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects. 

“I’ve never been in this situation before, but with the pandemic, everything has changed,” he says.  Thomas’ hours at his work-study job were cut from 20-25 hours each week to just 5-8 hours. Thankfully, Thomas saw an ad in the campus newspaper about the Cats’ Cupboard, a partner agency of Harvesters.

“I worked construction for 20 years and never needed help,” Thomas says. “My job was my job, but when I got to school, school was my job, and I needed to keep my grades up.”

Now, Thomas helps encourage other students to utilize the pantry and other resources available at the university.

“It’s a different feeling (to have to ask for help) and that’s why a lot of people don’t go,” he says. “But they should, before stuff starts collapsing around them.”

After graduation, Thomas hopes to use his degree to help Hispanic youth imagine better career opportunities in agriculture.

Thank you for helping make sure students and neighbors of all ages have ongoing access to nutritious food! Please consider giving here.