The Cupboard has already been visited 115 times by students in need this semester and is preparing to help even more students who are not able to make ends meet.
For the last few years, The Cupboard’s goal has been to support University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point students by providing free, non-perishable food items in a friendly and inviting atmosphere. The total amount of food distributed to students since the official opening in 2010 is over 16,865.8 pounds. That is enough to fill almost seven large U-hauls.
Its main focus is to help students succeed in their education without having to worry about when or how they will get their next meal. From food to toiletries, The Cupboard is there to assist students who are in need of such items.
Chris Slattery, The Cupboard’s operations coordinator, talked about how students can use this opportunity to see them through some hard times.
“Our main priority is to let students know that we are here and not to be afraid to stop by,” Slattery said.
All students are eligible to use the pantry unless they have a meal plan. If a student has run out of money on a meal plan, they are able to receive service from The Cupboard. All that is required from students is a UWSP ID.
“At one point during the year I was struggling to pay for food, let alone rent, and having a job while being a full time student was pretty rough on me,” said a student who uses the pantry but wishes to remain anonymous. “I relied on TheCupboard at that point, which really got me through that time.”
To receive items, students can stop in Tuesday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also an option to fill out an online request, where pre-packaged bags of groceries can be picked up at the Student Involvement and Employment Office.
Students can also donate items to the pantry. They have a wish list of canned food, boxed goods and toiletries on the UWSP website and all items can be dropped off at The Cupboard. The pantry also relies on monetary donations, which is used to purchase high-nutrient foods.
Bowling for Veterans is the next fundraising event, which takes place Nov. 9 at Point Bowl, sponsored by the American Legion and the UWSP Veterans Club. Bowlers can sign up to go at noon or at 3 p.m.
Anyone who brings a non- perishable food item will be given an extra door prize ticket. All donations will go to The Cupboard. Admissions are $15 for adults, and $10 for ages 12 and under.
Groups and organizations involved in supporting the pantry are the SERVE advisory committee, Student Government, Brad Van den Elzen, PACSO, the Association of Non-traditional Students, and Bob Quam.
“We are always in need of Volunteers and donations. Anyone willing to devote their time is very much appreciated,” Slattery said.
Volunteers maintain the pantry and aid during fundraising events. Those who are interested can e-mail Chris Slattery.
The Cupboard can be located in the basement of the DUC room 61.