Food pantry at UWSP helping students in need - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Food pantry at UWSP helping students in need

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

The food pantry at UW-Stevens Point, also called The Cupboard, is in full swing for its second year.

The Cupboard offers canned goods, pasta and other food to students who are struggling financially.

School officials say opening week has been busy.

Coordinators tell Newsline 9 that last year about 250 students made more than 900 visits to the The Cupboard, taking home nearly 10,000 pounds of food.

"We usually see about 18 students a week or so, so it's definitely busy," said Amanda Thielen, program coordinator.

Organizers say more students are showing up this semester than they expected.

"This year has already gotten off to a great start, we had a lot more students coming in to use it and I think that's doing our part and the previous coordinators of getting the word out there and making students who do need it feel comfortable enough to come in here," said Chris Slattery, program coordinator.

Twelve students volunteer every week to make The Cupboard run smoothly.

It's open three days during the week for about two hours each day.

Students have told coordinators that it feels reassuring to have the program available on campus.

"Coming from an institution that didn't have a food pantry I was very excited that this was something that was available to students, ideally it would be that it wouldn't be needed, that students would be able to afford food and not have to worry about it, but it's here when they do need it so it's great," said Thielen.

Among items donated to the pantry are canned vegetables, tuna and pasta.

Coordinators say 97% of the students who use the food pantry live off campus.

Most of them are 21 or older.

"Students and myself included, they don't exactly realize how expensive it is to live off campus," said Slattery.

The cupboard opened again when fall classes resumed. Coordinators add that more than 100 pounds of food has already been handed out, since the beginning of the school year.

If you'd like to donate food or toiletries to UWSP's food pantry click on the link below:

http://www.uwsp.edu/centers/SIEO/pages/volunteerism/cupboard/donations.aspx

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