Campuses throughout the WSU system are supporting students who may experience food insecurity over fall break with expanded food pantry hours and meal boxes.
Food assistance is especially important this year, as the cost of food is still high and students may struggle to afford what they need. Food pantries around WSU are seeing high usage: the Cougar Food Pantry on the Pullman campus has seen over 6,000 visits from 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students this semester and has distributed over 32,000 pounds of food, according to Merri Lecoq, the coordinator of the pantry. On the Everett campus, over a quarter of students actively use the food pantry each month.
“We know that 54% of college students around the country aren’t having their fundamental needs met, but here on the Pullman campus only 12% of students are using the pantry,” said Merri Lecoq, Cougar Food Pantry coordinator on the Pullman campus. “We also know that buying food is usually the first thing to go when money is tight. So we know there’s a need, and we know more students can and should be using these resources. We hope that all students who need support over fall break — and always — will use the pantry and available resources on their campus.”
Please encourage students who are remaining on campus or in their local area over the break and need food to visit their campus’s pantry to stock up on nonperishable goods, produce, and other items they’ll need during the week.
The Cougar Food Pantry will operate as normal over fall break, and students may request a pre-packed bag via the online form. The Everett campus will have holiday meal kits available in December, prior to the week of reduced operations.
The Cougar Food Pantry is giving away 100 turkeys on Nov. 16 starting at 1 p.m. in the CUB. Students who want a turkey can sign up for one online. Turkeys not claimed by 2 p.m. will be given to other students on a first-come, first-served basis. The pantry is fully stocked this week with non-perishable items and produce — including Thanksgiving items — so that students can select what works best for their individual needs.
The pantry will be open Nov. 20–22 from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and closed Nov. 23–27. Regular hours will resume Nov. 28.
The Campus Pantry will be open Tuesday, Nov. 21 from 3–5 p.m. for students to pick up additional items they need over fall break. The pantry is open this week on Wednesday from 4–5 p.m.; students can also schedule a time to shop online.
Break Boxes are available at the Cougar Cupboard this week, as well as the week before winter break. Boxes are stocked with enough food for a week’s worth of meals, and Fall Break Boxes include typical Thanksgiving items. They are available for pickup this week at the Cougar Cupboard, or students can submit an online form requesting pickup in an alternate location.
In addition, the Cougar Cupboard is collaborating with Counseling and Wellness on a demo for students on using items they receive at the pantry to make healthy snacks and meals.
The Vancouver campus is providing Thanksgiving food boxes. Students should register by Nov. 15; boxes will be available for pickup on Nov. 21. Boxes include a turkey, a potato casserole, stuffing, a pie, and more.
Non-perishable food pickups will continue through Dec. 22. Students can request a bag online once per week.