Nearly 70 Washington State University students that decided to finish out the semester at a distance have donated over $21,000 of leftover dining (RDA) funds to help support their peers struggling with food insecurity.

The student donations, coupled with over $7,000 contributed by private donors that include alumni, faculty and staff, have given the Cougs Feeding Cougs a big boost at a time when requests for assistance is running high.

Ching-Guo Wu, associate director in Administrative Services Information Systems, said over 2,200 fund requests have been dispensed since January.

“Many Cougars who chose not to return to campus did not forget about those who remain,” said Wu. “It shows you how much Cougs care about fellow Cougs in need.”

Wu played a key role in designing and implementing Cougs Feeding Cougs four years ago. Working with many partners across campus, the Division of Student Affairs sought to create something that not only helps food insecure students, but also makes the process of requesting help and donating to the program fast, convenient and anonymous. Both requests and donations can be made online.

First-year music education student Abby Baker is grateful that donating leftover RDA dollars to Cougs Feeding Cougs is an option for students.

“As an out-of-state student, I understand how stressful it is paying for school, and I can only imagine what it would be like worrying about where your next meal is coming from” Baker said. “The ability to give and help others makes you feel more like a Coug than ever.”

Albert James, a first-year student studying broadcast journalism, said he learned about Cougs Feeding Cougs while serving on the ASWSU Senate and wanted to put his unused RDA to good use.

“For some students to have to worry about having enough food, on top of everything else they have to think about, it can hinder their academic success,” James said. “I believe the Cougs Feeding Cougs system is a prime example of the Cougs helping Cougs mantra.”

Wu said he is really proud to have been part of the creation of the Cougs Feeding Cougs program and is looking forward to seeing its continued success.

Students like sophomore Sarah Wright are thankful he and his partners have put so much thought into making the website easy to navigate.

“Donating was as simple as clicking a button,” Wright said. “I hope that it will make a difference for some students as they continue their time at WSU.”