Grocery runs are a hit with International Students

The grocery runs are usually to Target or Walmart. (Bebhinn Tankard)

The Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) is now offering free bus rides to the supermarket at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays. Students have around an hour to browse and shop at the grocery store, with around eight to ten students regularly attending.
The idea for these “grocery runs” arose at one of the BSM lunches, which are held every Wednesday on campus. BSM director at Texas Wesleyan, Jessica Tuggle, said that she noticed a lot of students attending were international students, and that many of them didn’t have a car. Tuggle said, “I just thought it would be a good way to connect with people and provide them with something that’s really helpful.”
Loc Truong, an intern at Southcliff Church which supports BSM, is one of the bus drivers. “I love it,” he said. “I hope this will be a great help [to students].” Truong sees this as a good opportunity to do ministry.Not only are the grocery runs a way to stock up on the essentials, they’re also a way for students to make new friends and try new things, especially when they are new to Wesleyan and the United States.

Freshman Tran Nguyen, a marketing major from Vietnam, went on a grocery run for the first time this Monday. “I just got to the U.S. [a month ago] and everything here is different from my country. I’ve had to get used to the environment and the language.” Nguyen said that she attended the grocery run to pick up both food and candy.

These are supplies purchased by a student on a grocery run. (Bebhinn Tankard)

So far this semester, the trips have been to Walmart and Target, and the team takes suggestions from regularly participating students about which location they should visit next.
Tuggle is hoping to grow the operation, and mentioned the possibility of introducing more time slots or taking a second bus. “We’re trying to promote it as much as we can,” Tuggle said. “Now that we have some students that have experienced it, maybe they’ll tell their friends.”
If you would like a ride to the supermarket, meet the Baptist Student Ministry at 6:30 p.m. Mondays in front of Lou’s Place.
If you need help with accessing food, the Texas Wesleyan Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday and is located on the ground floor of the Polytechnic Methodist Church. Also, 4Saints Food Pantry from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church hosts a food pantry every Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Baker building on Wesleyan Street.