Alva Review-Courier -

Disbursements increasing at Campus Cabinet Food Pantry

 

October 4, 2019

Helping to fill a food request order at the Northwestern Campus Cabinet food pantry are Taylor Dowling, Alva senior majoring in computer science; Marisella Perez, Oklahoma City freshman, nursing; and Iris Irish, Carnegie freshman, nursing. Several Northwestern students are volunteering to help this semester.

The need for assistance with food, personal hygiene products and bedding at Northwestern Oklahoma State University continues as weekly disbursements at the Campus Cabinet Food Pantry have increased in its second semester of operation.

Since the fall semester began in August, the food pantry has almost doubled its number of registered clients from the spring semester and has surpassed the total pounds of food dispersed during the entire first semester of existence. Also doubling in numbers are those students and employees who have registered as volunteers to help fill food request orders on Tuesdays and help with disbursements on Wednesdays.

In the first six Wednesdays that the pantry has been open this semester, 879.5 pounds of food, hygiene products and bedding have been given out to students and employees.

Disbursements for the entire spring semester totaled 757 pounds, and the summer term alone saw 265 pounds of disbursements.

"All 56 of our registered clients don't come every week, but we're happy to be here when they need us," Angelia Case, academic projects assistant/media specialist and coordinator of the Campus Cabinet, said. "We are growing and helping so many more people in the Northwestern community. Word is spreading that we are here to help, and we love it. Everyone's involvement and support are incredibly important to us, and we thank you."

Helping to replenish the emptying shelves of the pantry was a food drive initiated by Student Life and Housing where university housing residents donated food items in exchange for entries into a drawing for a prize at the university bookstore. The drive netted 308.5 pounds of food.

"This drive was a blessing to the pantry as it came right as the fall semester was beginning and helped to fill our shelves a little after the end of the spring and summer terms," Case said. "We're always thankful to everyone who chooses to donate food or money or hold drives for this cause."

Case also noted that Kristin Mravinec, administrative assistant to the dean at Northwestern-Woodward, reached out to her recently about starting a food pantry at their location.

"The idea for a Campus Cabinet-Woodward initially started in the NWOSU Single Parent Support Network," Mravinec, who serves as the coordinator of this organization, said. "Our single parents thought a food pantry would be a good way to help and support students in need. We wanted to expand the Campus Cabinet, located at the Alva campus, to better serve our Woodward campus students."

During the month of October, the Woodward campus will be accepting non-perishable food donations for Campus Cabinet-Woodward. Mravinec can be reached at 580-254-2502 or [email protected]

"Northwestern Oklahoma State University cares about the well-being of our students whether it's intellectual, emotional, mental or physical," Dr. Deena Fisher, Woodward campus dean, said. "Having a safety net when it comes to basic human needs is one way that we can help our students."

Continuous support from campus and local communities is what it takes for the food pantries to be successful, and Case is thankful for all the support received to date.

"We couldn't do this without them," Case said. "We have been contacted by both on- and off-campus organizations asking about holding food drives or necessities drives during various months of the year, and monetary donations also come in from time to time. For this, we are grateful. We gladly accept all the help we can get for our clients who are so appreciative."

Calleb Mosburg, dean of student affairs and enrollment management, also is appreciative of the efforts of those working to help the campus community.

"I'm grateful for the work and leadership that Angelia has provided to help meet the needs of our campus community," Mosburg said. "I also want to say thank you to the volunteers and donors who have stepped up to provide to this need. It is always heartwarming to see the Ranger Family working together to meet the needs of others."

Case said that the pantry is trying to increase what it provides in the area of bedding, so donations of new pillows, blankets and twin-XL sheets are appreciated along with personal hygiene and paper products, as well as monetary donations.

As far as non-perishable food items, needed items generally include the following:

Canned meats of all kinds, chili, creamy and chunky peanut butter and jelly, saltine crackers, individual bottles of fruit juices like apple and orange, breakfast drinks including chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, breakfast bars and granola bars, toaster pastries, cereal, canned fruits including peaches, pears, oranges, apricots, pineapple and apple sauce, canned vegetables including potatoes and tomatoes, packaged pasta and rice side dishes, microwave-ready meals, canned spaghetti, macaroni and beef, ravioli, canned beans of all types, pork and shrimp ramen noodles, instant potatoes, soups including vegetable, chicken noodle and tomato, condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper shakers and cooking oil, popcorn, snack crackers, snack-sized peanuts or nuts.

Personal hygiene items needed include toilet paper, facial tissues, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, body wash/soap, cotton balls, cotton swabs, lotion and multi-packs of feminine products.

"We want our students and employees who may be reluctant to ask for help to know that we understand, but we are here for them," Case said. "You may need a little help now, but remember when you have the means to do so in the future, just pay it forward. It feels so good to do that."

The Campus Cabinet is open in Shockley Hall 108 from 5-7 p.m. each Wednesday that classes are in session. The necessary forms that need to be submitted and helpful information about the pantry may be found at http://www.nwosu.edu/campus-cabinet.

Questions may be directed to Case at 580-327-8577 or [email protected]

 

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