Most UW-La Crosse students are packing to head home for the Holidays once finals are over.
For those that live on-campus, there is an opportunity to donate any unwanted food they have left in their dorms.
Each residence hall is collecting food donations for the school pantry in their end of semester food drive.
“It’s an opportunity for students to maybe get rid of food that they’re not going to eat anymore and it’s something to help the students in the residence halls support our food pantry as well,” said Kelsi Grubisich, the UWL Civic Engagement and Leadership coordinator.
The food pantry is located inside UWL’s student union and open to all students, faculty, and staff.
For UWL, it’s important to have the pantry on-campus to allow easy access for those in need.
“If they’re trying to get to a food pantry in the community, they would have to have a car or get on the bus,” Grubisich said. “So, having this resource available on campus is helpful for all students.”
There is no limit as to how much someone can take from the pantry.
UWL is also working to remove the shame some feel when needing help.
“You can just come and take what you need,” said Johnathon Shaw, a UWL graduate assistant. “We don’t have a whole lot of fanfare about it and the information that we ask for is not very invasive and we don’t share our data with anybody other than our Hunger Task Force.”
The school says around 500 people access the pantry each month and that they have food drives throughout the year to keep it stocked.
“We also do monthly food drives around campus. We have 11 departments on campus that participate in those monthly food drives,” Grubisich said.
The Hunger Task Force also donates food to the pantry.
“I know that I’ve been in positions in my life where money was tight and I needed some extra food or a way to get the extra food,” Shaw said. “I know that college is expensive and a lot of students have financial needs.”
This semester alone, the pantry has seen more than 200 new users.
The school says so far the end of semester food drive has been a success.