New Food Pantry to Provide Sustenance for Student Success

MATC will offer nutritional essentials at Education Center at Walker’s Square

Mark Feldmann,

December 01, 2022

Food Pantry at Walker's Square

MILWAUKEE – Maria Dominguez always has a lot on her plate, but sometimes she doesn’t have a lot in the pantry.

She’s studying to be a medical interpreter at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She works part-time and is raising two children. 

Money can be tight, so the newly-opened food pantry at the MATC Education Center at Walker’s Square, 816 West National Avenue, is a godsend for her and her family.

“This is a real stress relief,” said Dominguez, who came to the United States from Mexico 20 years ago. “With the food pantry, this can help us save money for other things.”

MATC students and administrators celebrated the opening of the food pantry on Tuesday, November 29. MATC now has food pantries at all campus locations: Downtown Milwaukee, Mequon, Oak Creek, West Allis and Walker’s Square.

“We’re continuing to do the work that’s most impactful,” said Equan Burrows, MATC’s dean of student experience, at the ceremony. “We’re responding to the needs of our students. By opening this food pantry, we can serve all of our students.”

See more coverage of food pantry grand opening

The Education Center at Walker’s Square is located on the near south side, in the heart of Milwaukee’s Hispanic/Latino/a community, said Patricia Torres Nájera, Ph.D., executive director of the facility. “We’re here and we know this is a need,” she said.

With the new food pantry, many students won’t have to find time to travel to the Downtown Milwaukee Campus pantry, said Anallely Guadarrama, an MATC student studying to be a bilingual office assistant and who works part-time at Walker’s Square.

“Many students come only here and have asked us about groceries,” said Guadarrama, originally from Villa Guerrero in Mexico and the mother of two children. “Now we have something here for them. This will help so many so much.”

See photos from the food pantry grand opening

MATC opened a food pantry at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus’ Student Resource Center in November 2021 and quickly opened pantries at the other campuses. Feeding America supplies the pantries, and the college orders almost 1,500 pounds of food each week, said Haley Weber, MATC’s student resource center coordinator.

“Food insecurity is a huge concern,” Weber said. “Anecdotally, students often speak about having to choose between food and gas since both prices have increased.”

See Spectrum News coverage of event

Some students use the food pantries to fill in where Wisconsin’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) doesn’t cover. Other students use the pantry due to lack of funds. 

The food pantries are stocked with essential foods, beverages and snacks for students to enjoy on campus or to take home. “We do know that students often come back weekly to supplement what they can’t afford, and many utilize the pantry to support their families,” Weber said. 

Students are encouraged to stop by weekly to fill bags provided by the college. Students need to show their student ID card to receive free food.

The new food pantry is located in Room 484 at the Education Center at Walker’s Square, and will be open from 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and by appointment through Annette Velez, who can be reached via email at

Find more information on MATC's food pantries

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 25,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 170 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.