Northwestern's Campus Cabinet Food Pantry now open for its students, employees
January 16, 2019
The Campus Cabinet official opens Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.
With the start of the spring 2019 semester at Northwestern Oklahoma State University comes the official opening of the Campus Cabinet Food Pantry in Shockley Hall, room 108, on the Alva campus on Jan. 16.
The pantry will provide non-perishable foods and some personal hygiene items to Northwestern students and employees in need every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. For those unable to visit on Wednesdays, they may make an appointment by contacting Angelia Case, academic project assistant/media specialist, at (580) 327-8577 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Lauderdale, Student Success coordinator, at (580) 327- 8606 or email@example.com.
Case had the idea for a campus food pantry last year and mentioned it to Calleb Mosburg, dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, as well as to the officers of the NWOSU Art Society of which she sponsors. A survey of students and employees was conducted to help determine a more accurate need.
Case said that the survey found that 44 percent of the students answering said there had been a time when they did not have enough food. More than 50 percent of the respondents said they knew of another student who didn’t have enough food and that they, personally, would use the food pantry. An overwhelming 62 percent said a pantry was needed.
Case said that 55 percent of the employees answering the survey agreed that a food pantry is needed with some indicating they, too, could use the help.
To further support the need for the campus food pantry, Mosburg said as he began to look further into some data from recent years, he found that Northwestern has a large number of students who are identified as low-income (Pell grant eligible) and/or first-generation students (those whose parents or grandparents have not attended college.)
“Back when we completed our application for our Student Support Services Program, a federal Trio Grant program, we found that nearly 40 percent of our students were either low income, first-generation or disabled or receiving ADA accommodations,” Mosburg said. “This was a head count of 912 students.”
Northwestern’s senior staff soon was on board, the Alva Wesleyan Food Bank provided its support of the project, and the Campus Cabinet Food Pantry became a reality. Northwestern joins a group of 725 colleges and universities across the nation that have seen this growing need and have registered their food pantries with the College and University Food Bank Alliance.
Case said that for Northwestern students and employees to use the pantry, they must fill out the First Time User Application available online at www.nwosu.edu/campus-cabinet. A web version and a PDF version of this application are available and should be submitted prior to visiting the pantry for the first time.
A Food Request Form at this same web address also should be submitted prior to each visit.
These two forms also will be available at the pantry location, but for faster service Case requested the forms be turned in a few days prior to visiting the pantry. Students and employees may visit the pantry once per week.
Upon their first visit all students must show verification of enrollment at Northwestern, and employees must show proof of employment at Northwestern. A current Northwestern photo ID also is needed. Once enrollment/employment is verified, and the First Time User Application is submitted, users will be issued a Campus Cabinet User’s Card. Upon subsequent visits to the pantry, all clients will then show this user’s card and their current Northwestern photo ID.
“We’re so happy to finally be open to help our students and employees who need a little assistance with meals,” Case said. “We started our non-perishable food drives on Dec. 1, 2018, and are so thankful to our Northwestern family and local community for their help in providing this needed food, as well as monetary donations. We will continue to need your support to keep our shelves stocked on a weekly basis.
“We also know that we are learning as we go with this new venture, so we ask that those visiting the pantry, as well as our volunteers, be patient with us as we find our best way of handling things,” Case said.
Food collection boxes currently are available on campus on the first floors of the Fine Arts Building and Vinson Hall, as well as in the library and at the west entrance of the Student Center.
Food donations, as well as tax deductible monetary donations also will be accepted by Case. Checks should be payable to NWOSU Foundation with “Campus Cabinet” noted in the memo.
Case said that it is her hope that several organizations across campus, as well as in the community, will become involved in helping with the pantry whether by volunteering in some capacity or organizing their own food donation drive.
“If anyone is interested in volunteering or holding a food drive this semester, just let me know so I can get it on my calendar and help promote it via our social media outlets,” Case said. “We also have a volunteer form on our web page, as well as an 8.5 x 11 generic food drive poster if that could be useful to anyone.”
Case noted that some of the most needed “dorm-friendly” non-perishable food includes:
Breakfast items like individual boxes of cereal, toaster pastries, breakfast bars, instant oatmeal, etc., peanut butter, jelly, crackers, individual fruit servings, individual rice meals, heat and eat meals, canned chicken/ham/turkey, canned meals like spaghetti, ravioli, chili, etc., sports drinks and snacks.
A number of paper products also are needed like toilet paper and tissues and various men’s and women’s personal hygiene products.