UW System Regent family foundation donates to The Cabinet

Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer, Reporter

UW System Regent Karen Walsh’s family foundation, BerbeeWalsh Foundation, donated $2000 to the recently opened food pantry at UW Oshkosh and plans to donate more.

Walsh described the BerbeeWalsh Foundation as “a private family foundation that focuses on human and animal health and welfare.”

In the past, the foundation donated roughly $13 million as a gift to completely remodel the UW Hospital’s emergency department.

They have also made major donations to Animals Need Heroes Too campaign for a new Vet School building at the UW-Madison.

They have also made significant donations to the Dane County Humane Society, Madison Cat Project, Oshkosh Area Humane Society, the Humane Society of Jefferson County and is a significant contributor to Access Community Health Centers in Madison.

Walsh said she made the decision to donate to the UWO food pantry “simply because [she] was impressed that the food pantry project was undertaken by students. It’s incredibly generous of UWO students to recognize the problem and work together to create the solution.”

Among the students that undertook the making of The Cabinet is Joy Evans, student director of the pantry, with the help of her McNair Scholar research.

She said she “never would have thought that when [she] started here [she’d] be part of something so grand and so impactful to this campus” because food insecurity is an “underestimated issue that is a big deal.”

Evans said that “food insecurity affects health and development honestly at all stages in life. When you’re at college it can really affect your ability to learn.”

When Evans found out about the donation, she said “It was definitely a surprise to receive the donation. I really wasn’t expecting it at all. However, I was very grateful that Regent Walsh was willing to support this initiative. It was a great honor. It made me very excited for the future of the food pantry.”

The BerbeeWalsh Foundation also plans on combating this issue further by pledging to match any funds students raise from the community up to $5,000. This is in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.

The Cabinet, located next to Titan Underground, is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all UWO students to utilize.

You can also donate to The Cabinet and drop food off there or at the OSA Office, Reeve 208C. Some items The Cabinet is looking for include whole grain cereal, Nature Valley products, canned veggies, peanut butter, noodles, ramen, popcorn, body wash, shampoo, lotion, laundry detergent and more.