Hunger is an issue no student should ever have to face, and Cabrini has a resource to combat that threat on campus.
Open to all Cabrini students is the Cabrini Cupboard, located inside the Wolfington Center on the third floor of Founders Hall. The Cupboard, currently run by Campus Ministry, aims to be a safe place where students can go to get food.
New additions to the Cupboard
This year, students can use crockpots inside the Cupboard. A microwave is also available for students.
Amber Berkheimer, a criminology and criminal justice major and Campus Ministry graduate assistant, said, “We are able to supplement people’s entire meals. You can get fresh fruit, meat, vegetables, pasta, cereal, all kinds of stuff.” Berkheimer also said the Cupboard has enough crockpots and rice cookers to give away to students interested.
The Cupboard has a new freezer and refrigerator to better house perishable foods. These additions will provide more space for food to be kept fresh longer and help the Wolfington Center and its volunteers adjust the quantity of food received to match the needs seen on campus.
Demand for the Cupboard
The Cupboard restocked its pantry on Friday, Sep. 1 for the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.
As the year progresses, the Cupboard expects many more students. Dr. Raymond Ward, director of the Wolfington Center, said, “There are fewer people to spread the word of the cupboard this year; however, it seems that students have already visited it.”
Ward mentioned signs that the Cabrini Cupboard is being used. For example, overfilled with food beforehand, they found the refrigerator to be nearly empty.
Although few students have formally signed up or reregistered to use the Cupboard this year, they expect this to change.
Director of Campus Ministry Antoinette Reaves said, “I think we will see a change; I don’t think the
Cupboard will be in low demand because more people know about it. We are really getting the word out. About the same number of students as last year, if not more, will be using it this year.”
Campus Ministry and the Wolfington Center are working together to combat the stigma that surrounds the use of the pantry. “A lot of people see it as a resource that they should not take advantage of. They would feel bad about themselves if they took advantage of it,” Ward said. This mindset is one that they hope to correct. “There is support out there, why would you not use it?” Ward added.
Campus Ministry and the Wolfington Center are working together to combat the stigma that surrounds the use of the pantry. “A lot of people see it as a resource that they should not take advantage of. They would feel bad about themselves if they took advantage of it,” said Ward. This mindset is one that they hope to correct. Ward added, “There is support out there, why would you not use it?”
Several events being held this semester are geared towards building community and spreading awareness of the Cupboard. At the fall 2023 Involvement Fair, bags with toiletries and information about the Cupboard were handed out to students. The Crockpot Cook-off, an event in which ingredients from the Cupboard are used to make a meal in a crockpot, teaches students about the Cupboard and how to cook using a crockpot. The date for this year’s Cook-off has not been announced yet.
At Cozy Thursdays, held every Thursday in the Wolfington Center, food made with ingredients from the Cupboard will be served while students play games or watch movies. Share tables will also be set up around campus for students to have easy access to food from the Cupboard. There is one share table permanently set up right outside the Wolfington Center.
With all their planning and promotion, those who help fill the Cupboard are ready to feed students all year. Reaves said, “Every item will be off the shelf, all the students will be fed, that’s my hope. That we utilize it to the very end.”