Students who struggle to pay for groceries find help from Campus Harvest

Campus food pantry feeds students in need



Aubry Reed, a senior, adds candy bars to the selection of food at Campus Harvest, the new food pantry at UW-Eau Claire.

Story by Lauren French, Copy Editor

When UW-Eau Claire senior Heather Williquette returned from winter break this year, she faced a tough decision: should she spend money on rent, or groceries?

“When I came back from winter break, my job hadn’t started yet,” Williquette said.

“I was in this position where I wasn’t making any money, but I needed to buy food, and I also had rent due.”

After spending her money on rent, Williquette rationed leftovers from winter break until her next paycheck. She lived on two meals a day, or small snacks throughout the day.

Now, armed with only her Blugold student ID, Williquette counts on help from the Campus Harvest Food Pantry.

Campus Harvest, which opened in September, provides access to food for Eau Claire students who can’t always afford groceries. Williquette said Campus Harvest has helped her when money is scarce between paychecks.

Campus Harvest gets food from on and off-campus donations, and from Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire. Those donations feed about 35 to 40 students per week.

Contributions from the community provide most of the food for Campus Harvest. Students, local churches and other organizations stop by the Campus Harvest pantry to drop off donations.

During this year’s homecoming week, the “Can-struction” competition raised 600 pounds of food for Campus Harvest.

When supplies run low, student intern Aubry Reed said they file orders for food from Feed My People at greatly reduced costs.

Produce, when available, is often free because of how quickly it expires and chicken costs only 14 cents per pound.

Last fall was rich with free produce. Reed said Campus Harvest had plenty of fresh apples at the beginning of the year.

With winter’s arrival, produce disappears. Campus Harvest relies more heavily on canned and boxed goods.

Campus Harvest is located in Schofield 4. Hours are Mondays from noon to 2 p.m., Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m.