Campus Harvest

Food pantry opened on campus to help diminish food insecurity

Aubry+Reed%2C+a+senior%2C+adds+candy+bars+to+the+selection+of+food+at+Campus+Harvest%2C+the+new+food+pantry+at+UW-Eau+Claire.%0A

Photo by FILE PHOTO

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

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The Office of Student Affairs and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation have teamed up with Feed My People Food Bank to open the Campus Harvest food pantry at UW-Eau Claire.

According to Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America Report, 4.65 million students use Feeding America food banks.

Aubry Reed, an intern at Campus Harvest, said they had a successful first day of operation on Sept. 2 with five or six people stopping in, taking advantage of the frozen chicken, cheese crackers and beans.

“Through Feed My People we got a pound of chicken for 14 cents,” said Reed, a senior majoring in business administration and organizational communications. “Right now we got it through Feed My People, but we are hoping to work with organizations on campus in the future.”

Campus Harvest will use a grant from The Foundation when donations do not cover need. Local churches donated three mini fridges and a chest freezer. With access to refrigerators and a freezer, Reed said the foods offered will create a well rounded diet. Frozen chicken and eggs offer necessary protein. Reed also said she hopes to get fresh produce once they know the demand. She didn’t want to get food and then have it go to waste.

Student volunteers run the pantry, and two volunteers will be working while the pantry is open. Campus Harvest offers service learning hours, and will be hosting a table at the Community Action Fair on Sept. 10.

Eau Claire students can access Campus Harvest once a week with a student ID and a signature confirming they are in need of food. The pantry is open from noon to 2 p.m. on Mondays, 2-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and 5-7 p.m. on Thursdays. The food pantry is located in Schofield room 4, replacing the CASA office in the basement of Schofield.

For students money is often spread thin between rent, tuition, food and other bills stressing a slim budget.

Raina Beutel, senior, said the toughest time for her was when she wrecked her car and spent her whole savings in repair costs. Her car was essential for her to get to work, so she cut out everything but the essentials.

“One accident left me completely dry,” Beutel said. “When you are in a situation where you go from having a cushion to having nothing, you have to spend your money on so many different things. It can be overwhelming.”

Beutel said she knows there are plenty of other students in the same situation, with the little expenses adding up quickly. With the opening of Campus Harvest, she hopes food scarcity will become a more discussable topic on campus and students will be comfortable accepting the help being offered.