June 1, 2020

Student food pantry set to open next month

Capital is preparing to institute its newest student resource with the opening of the Cap Cupboard, an on-campus student food pantry.

The pantry is set to launch Monday, Oct. 15., and will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 4-6 p.m. It will be housed in the student government office, which is across from the mailroom in the basement of the Student Union. The pantry is for students only, and it is intended to act as a food resource center that will provide immediate relief for those in need.

As part of Homecoming, students are encouraged to bring nonperishable items for the pantry throughout the week to the Alumni House, located at the corner of Mound Street and Pleasant Ridge Avenue. After Homecoming week, students can bring donations to the Office of Student and Community Engagement and to the Kerns Religious Life Center. Food drives are planned to be held throughout the academic year to garner more donations.

Deanna Wagner, the dean of engagement and success, said in an email, “The mission of the Cap Cupboard at Capital University is to strive to alleviate food insecurity among Capital students by providing free and accessible food to those in need. Capital students with need will also be connected to resources, both on and off campus.”

Michaela Davy, a sophomore marketing major, felt that the Cap Cupboard was a positive venture on Capital’s part.

“I think that it’s [going to be] a very helpful thing, and that students, once they realize that we have it, will use it if they feel like they just want a snack or something or if they can’t afford to get groceries that week. It’d be nice to have because not everybody has a meal plan,” Davy said.

Davy also felt that the Cap Cupboard could be used to better meet the needs of students with dietary restrictions.

“We have a lot of widely-available snacks and services for food, it’s just when you have very limited dietary availability for your food options, [it] may [make] it more difficult for you to get the food that you need to eat or can eat,” Davy said.

The Cap Cupboard is the result of the SCE and several other offices across campus working together after observing a need for a student food pantry.

“Nationally, we have seen trends of college students who experience food insecurity growing and we want to do all we can to help address that issue here at Capital. We did some preliminary surveying of students and found that many students had experienced…food insecurity,” Wagner said.

“I think that it’s more relevant for some of the staff workers at Capital. I’ve personally interacted with a lot of the cleaning staff who have told me in the past about their troubles and food insecurity,” Miranda Mueller, senior psychology and criminology double major, said.

“I haven’t heard so much about it from students. I was an RA my sophomore year, and I never had anyone approach me with needs for food, so I’m not sure how applicable it is to our student body, but I do think that it’s a good option,” she said.

Wagner revealed that students will be surveyed again this year to better gauge the needs of the campus.

Students are encouraged to email the Cap Cupboard at capcupboard@capital.edu with any feedback or questions they may have. They may also reach out to schedule an individual time to visit the pantry if they cannot access it during the Cap Cupboard’s hours.

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