The UndocuPantry was inaugurated in September of 2019 at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center. Founded by the Center’s 2019-2020 Basic Needs Coordinator, Valeria Blanco, and Assistant Director Ignacio/Nacho Alarcón - alongside student volunteers Karen Meza, Leilatou Nikimia, Mariana Gutierrez, and Sabia Babul - the UndocuPantry is a student-run initiative in direct response to restricting public charge guidelines limiting the undocumented community from accessing government-run programs, such as CalFresh.
The UndocuPantry stems to address food insecurity among the undocumented community by providing a daily snack table, a pantry full of non-perishable items, and monthly cooking demonstrations or tabling events. The UndocuPantry and its weekly operations are run by five amazing team members: Karen Meza, Claudia Reyes-Rodriguez, Leilatou Nikimia, Mariana Gutierrez, and Sabia Babul.
Karen Meza is an Animal Science major minoring in Public Health. Karen joined the UndocPantry because she herself has experienced food insecurity. Her position as marketing and outreach coordinator oversees our media and works alongside campus partners. With the help of her team, Karen promotes events and basic needs resources. As DACAmented, Karen is part of the Knight Landing where she also aids the Knights Landing community, another underrepresented group, like the undocumented community.
Claudia is a fourth-year International Relations major with a focus on World Trade and Development. She was born in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and raised primarily on the Central Coast. She loves anything having to do with nature, food, or animals. She is passionate about serving undocumented, low-income communities and addressing food insecurity. She firmly believes that food is a human right and that no one should ever feel hunger. Her goal is to create community spaces where we can continue to uplift each other and heal. She plans to continue her work through non-profit organizations that provide support to marginalized communities.
Mariana Gutierrez Tenorio
Mariana is a first-generation student studying Biological Sciences. She was born in Mexico City and she was raised in Napa, CA. In her free time, she loves to jam to JB and some of her favorite series include Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and Money Heist. As the public relations coordinator, her purpose is to inform students about the resources available at the center such as food insecurity and basic need supplies. Feel free to reach out!
Leilatou M Nikiema
Leila is a first-year transfer majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology here at UC Davis. She was born and raised in Burkina Faso. Leila has ambitions of becoming a pediatrician and having a nonprofit hospital that will serve less fortunate people in her country. Besides school, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling as often as possible. As the Cooking Demonstration Coordinator, Leila intends to bring new and exciting menus to our weekly food station.
Sabia is a first-generation student studying Biological Sciences. She is currently a third-year transfer and was born and raised in Fremont, CA. When she has free time, she likes to binge-watch horror movies and thrillers. Growing up, she was surrounded by people of diverse ethnicities and social backgrounds so as a result, she built a concrete understanding of the varying needs others may need in their everyday lives. She doesn’t believe that students should be limited when it comes to food and other resources especially while trying to further their education. Situations can arise in which students may feel like they’ve lost their footing financially and she wants to ensure everyone in such a position has someone they can reach out to. As one of the project coordinators, it’s her mission to cater events in which students can be given the opportunity to obtain gift cards in order to buy basic needs supplies. Feel free to reach out to her if you have any questions regarding the project committee or if you simply need a listening ear!