PUSH and Second Harvest provides free groceries to students

Milenne Quinonez , Staff Reporter

Second Harvest and PUSH worked together to bring a mobile food pantry to CWU and provided a weeks’ worth of food to about 200 students on campus. The mobile food pantry was located on the SURC east patio. 

Second Harvest helps to provide food to partnering food banks, whether it’s through food donations or going out to buy food with donated money. They provide food to 280 different partners, covering 21 counties in eastern Washington and five in north Idaho. 

“What was really great about Second Harvest coming was they’re a bit more established than us, they’re not student ran so they have more of that opportunity and more connections to bring fresh produce and any types of food to campus,” said Andrea Guillen, a second-year student majoring in computer science and PUSH public relations officer.

According to Guillen, Second Harvest originally reached out to PUSH to collaborate in February of 2022 then began working to bring the mobile food pantry to CWU in March.

Guillen said, “It was a pretty positive response to the event, a lot of people don’t know the pantry exists in general so having like an access to free food where they can just come into a heavily populated area that’s close to their dorms, they really liked.” 

Eric Williams, the community partnerships director of Second Harvest, said if people in rural areas, college universities or low income areas are hungry, they are not going to do as well, Second Harvest works to reach out to those people in need.  

“We are more than aware that a lot of college students are in need, that fits very much in with the areas we want to reach with the mobile market,” said Willams. 

The mobile pantry provided bell peppers, oranges, grab-and-go snacks and dairy-free milk for students with dietary issues. 

According to Williams Second Harvest works hard to provide a variety of foods to the mobile market such as fresh produce, pasta and canned protein. 

“To every degree possible we try to have a variety of food so people have that good variety to work with when they take it home,” said Williams. 

After the event ended, Second Harvest donated the rest of the food that was not given out to the PUSH pantry, so students who were not able to attend had an opportunity for access.