PUSH holds Pack the Pantry campaign to encourage food donations

PUSH holds Pack the Pantry campaign to encourage food donations

Morgana Carroll, Staff Reporter

PUSH is hosting Pack the Pantry, a campaign to promote and encourage food donations during the month of February. This is a media campaign consisting of social media promotions and flyers everywhere on campus.

According to PUSH Data Analyst Officer and junior in sports business and accounting Matthew Braganza, PUSH and ASCWU are working together to support this campaign. They are primarily advertising to CWU students, staff and faculty. 

According to Braganza, a large amount of the pantry’s donations come from students and from the leftover money on meal plans. He hopes this event will convince professors and different departments to make donating a regular habit as well, since they will be at CWU for a longer period than students.

Students and staff can participate by donating food or clothing items to any of the three drop-off points, which are located at the Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) in Black Hall, the first floor of Brooks Library and the ASCWU office on the second floor of the SURC.

“I hope to see a collaborative effort from a bunch of different departments,” Braganza said. “By placing pressure on faculty and departments specifically, we will hopefully see a collaborative effort between all communities and organizations here all towards the same goal.”

Braganza hopes that Pack The Pantry will increase donations this month and that people who donate this month might get into the habit of donating on a regular basis. 2022 is the first year this event has been held. 

“As far as a numbers figure it’s hard to expect, because we haven’t done anything like this specifically,” said Braganza. “We’re not sure what the community engagement might look like.”

In the 64 days since PUSH opened for the calendar year, PUSH has given 3,698 total items to students and community members as of Feb. 10, according to Braganza.

Braganza said a lot of students rely on the resources PUSH provides. Not only are those who are down on their luck using it, but first year students who underestimate which meal plan to get will often supplement their food with resources from the pantry. Students from foreign countries with warmer climates also utilize the clothing items from PUSH to help them adapt to the colder climate.

Braganza thinks that students often underestimate how easy it is to find yourself in a situation where you need help like what PUSH offers. 

“The reason I joined PUSH was because in spring of 2021, I had a medical emergency and I wasn’t able to work for a week or two, and a college student with no stream of income that takes a toll on you,” said Braganza. “With PUSH, it was just a great way to get those resources that I needed.”

However, according to PUSH President Jaeda Nelson, having a student-led organization like PUSH is great because students deserve help from the university when they are in need of resources.

“Students are solving an issue they are directly facing, which is bittersweet,” Nelson said. “We get the privilege of putting our student experience at the forefront of everything they do, but we are also holding the weight of solving a problem that shouldn’t be ours alone to solve.” 

For more information about how to donate, or alternate forms of donation such as PUSH’s Amazon wishlist and Venmo, go to www.cwu.edu/push.