Wildcat Pantry hosts Pack the Pantry to support student needs


Megan Rogers, Assistant News Editor

The Wildcat Pantry, located on the ground floor of the James E. Brooks Library, is hosting Pack the Pantry throughout the month of January, a drive to help bring in food donations and other essential items for the CWU community.

Senior elementary education major and Wildcat Pantry volunteer Daisy Ramirez said, “Our goal is to fill the pantry for this month and have food items that help all students.” 

Pack the Pantry is an annual drive, but this year the Wildcat Pantry team is trying something different. The drive will be separated into four weeks, each with its own theme of donations. 

According to Ramirez, week one will focus on cultural food and other high-priority items. Week two will be focused on food allergies and donations will be gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian/vegan non-perishable items. Week three will be hygiene and household items such as winter clothes, menstrual products, or toilet paper. Week four will be any items from the categories above.

Wildcat Pantry Coordinator Jaeda Nelson said, “[Wildcat Pantry] wanted to create a different theme every single week because as much as donations are great, sometimes the variety of those donations or the amount of donations doesn’t always serve our shoppers that are coming in with dietary needs, cultural preferences [or] just other circumstances …  We realize that our services should be beyond food and that it needs to support students’ holistic well-being ”

According to Nelson, this drive is a call to action for the community to help out fellow peers and students.

“Last year we were able to raise $30,000, which is a lot more than we could have ever imagined, and it’s a great amount of money but because the pantry operates mainly on donations, once those donations are used, it’s gone,” Nelson said. 

Their goal this academic year is to raise $50,000, according to Nelson. The Wildcat Pantry has seen an increase in visits and has been spending $1,000 weekly. 

According to a graphic posted by @cwuwildcatpantry on Instagram, throughout Fall quarter visits to the Wildcat pantry increased by 77% and recurring visits have increased by 22%.

Matthew Braganza, a senior accounting major and PUSH secretary and pantry lead, said that having the Wildcat Pantry on campus is important because food is a basic need and a right. 

“There should be little to no expectation for students to pass their classes or even attend clubs or excel in their fields when they’re not meeting their basic needs like food,” Braganza said. 

If students or community members want to make donations during Pack the Pantry, donation spots can be found at the following locations: 

  • Library 101c
  • Black Hall 101 
  • The fourth floor of Shaw Smyser
  • Barge Hall 305
  •  Reception desk in the Health Sciences Building
  • SURC service desk or CAT Trax West
  • Reception desk in the Medical Center
  • Hogue Hall 115
  •  University Police Office
  • The lounge kitchen in the International Building 
  • The first floor south side of the Language and Literature Building. 

The Wildcat Pantry also accepts monetary donations or donations through their Amazon wishlist.