The Advance-Titan

Food pantry serves campus community

Since January, the UW Oshkosh Division of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence and the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry have been helping UWO students by delivering food to those who need assistance.

“We deliver food to 20 people on the second Friday of each month,” Director of LGBTQ Resource Center Liz Cannon said.

Cannon said the program is designed to help students with food needs who do not have a convenient way to get to the Oshkosh Area Food Pantry on Jackson Street.

Nyreesha Williams-Torrence, a 2017 alumna and an intern when the pantry was created, said most students don’t know there are resources they have access to as members of the Oshkosh community, and she and Cannon wanted to change that.

Junior Natalie Osieczanek said there should be a system to ensure the food is going to students who are really in need of it.

“I think the application should ask about their income and finances,” Osieczanek said. “This way, the people who don’t need it won’t want to take the time to fill it out.”

Osieczanek said she thinks this way will be fair and vet out the students who are just using the pantry when they already have meal plans and enough access to food.

Cannon said students must be registered in order to apply for the Food Pantry services, and they take the first 20 students who apply in a given month.

Freshman Harrison Collar said he thinks this is a great program for students who are in need, and he is excited the campus has established a system to help people for no fee.

“I was happy to hear about this program,” Collar said. “I’m not in need of food, but I know there are others on the campus that are.”

Collar said he hopes people are being honest and are in actual need of food because it would be terrible if a student wasn’t in need took away from another student.

Cannon said they ask students to sign up each month to participate by the Friday before the delivery date, although it doesn’t necessarily mean they help the same students every month.

“The food pantry’s first delivery was this year on Jan. 12,” Cannon said “The most recent delivery was on March 9.”

Cannon said since the food pantry just started offering this service, most students do not know about it and the pantry has yet to fill the 20 students.

Cannon said students who would like to participate have been informed via email from the division announcing the service and have been asked to email the LGBTQ Resource Center.

“After that, they are then sent an application form where they can select the food they would like in their box,” Cannon said.

Cannon said on the Friday of delivery, the food pantry fills the boxes with the supplies they have at their pantry and delivers them to the Campus Center for Equity and Diversity.

“The boxes are marked with the student’s ID number,” Cannon said. “Students can then come to the Campus Center for Equity and Diversity to pick up their box.”

According to Cannon, students can pick up their box between 1 and 4 p.m. by showing their student ID.

Cannon said they have recently created an online form on the division’s website so they can eliminate the extra email to the LGBTQ Resource Center.

“Sometimes students feel ashamed to ask for help,” Williams-Torrence said. “That shame can keep people from talking about it.”

Williams-Torrence said food insecurity in the student demographic isn’t really something that’s discussed a lot, and regardless of how we joke about being broke college students, actually being in a position where you don’t have enough food is different and the food pantry is trying to help solve that. “

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Food pantry serves campus community