The number of users taking advantage of The Cupboard, the university’s food pantry, is growing. The resource allows students to fill their stomachs with nutritional foods when their pockets are empty.
Open to any current University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student, The Cupboard is a food pantry located in room 061 of the Dreyfus University Center. It provides students with the basic necessity of food when they are in a financially difficult situation.
Jennie Stage The Cupboard operations coordinator said that the Cupboard’s growth in the past couple of years branches from two main components.
“The Cupboard has an increase in clientele. The reason for this is a toss-up between two factors. The first is awareness of the Cupboard increasing throughout campus. The second is an increase in students who are lacking funds for food,” Stage said.
An older student on campus, Cindy M. Yang, has been able to watch the development of The Cupboard in the past four years.
“It is nice as an older student to see it evolve and the volunteers are always friendly,” Yang said.
Many programs that help people purchase food require a lengthy qualification process. Among many factors, some individuals do not qualify for assistance but still struggle to eat a healthy meal. However, The Cupboard does not have as strict of regulations regarding who qualifies and who does not.
“Being a current UWSP student is the only qualification for receiving help from the Cupboard. Nothing else,” Stage said.
“It is tough to receive food stamps unless you qualify through the state,” Yang said.
The Cupboard’s main goal is to help students meet their basic needs so that they can focus on succeeding in school. The food pantry helps eliminate some of the financial pressures students may encounter.
“The Cupboard allows me to save money. Food is ridiculously expensive in grocery stores,” Yang said.
Another client of The Cupboard appreciates what it does for the UWSP student body.
“Grocery bills can quickly add up to $100. This is a great resource,” client two said.
Both Yang and the second client live off campus and their housing requires them to pay rent and monthly utilities bills on top of costly tuition payments. Students with limited income and who are short on cash may have to choose between buying food or paying other bills. By supplying emergency or supplemental food, The Cupboard eases money problems for students.
“I see the Cupboard as a place to get food, and I do not have to worry about the expense especially living off campus,” Yang said.
“I live off campus as well. I have to pay a variety of bills including heat. Everything builds up so quickly,” client two said.
Stage is trying to spread awareness of this beneficial resource to students.
“I think a very large number of students at UWSP simply don’t know The Cupboard exists. This is a huge problem that I am trying to address through promotion,” Stage said.
Students are grateful for The Cupboard and the volunteer members who keep it running.
“Thank you to everyone who donates The Cupboard. There wouldn’t be a Cupboard without you,” client two said.
The Cupboard is open Tuesday through Thursday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. If students are unable to stop by during those times, they can also fill out an online request form online from The Cupboard’s homepage. You can find it by typing “The Cupboard” in the search box on the UWSP website.