LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Western Technical College (W.T.C.) will open a new food pantry on campus next week for all its students.
The new pantry, named the "Cavalier Cupboard," will open for all W.T.C. students on March 18. The pantry, which will work with the Hunger Task Force along with the UW-La Crosse and Wafer food pantries, will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2-5 p.m.
The idea for an on-campus food pantry came from W.T.C. Business Management student Lynda Smith. Smith said she believed hunger was an issue on campus after realizing some of her fellow students were without food or meals during a regular school day.
For more than one year, Smith worked hard to add a food pantry at W.T.C. and she eventually connected with W.T.C. Community Engagement Director Kari Reyburn.
"We got this initiative started because we know our students struggle with food and their next meal and we thought if we could alleviate one of their stressors in their life, it would help to make them academically more successful," Reyburn said.
Smith's vision from more than a year ago will become a reality early next week, as she said she "loves to feed people" and an on-campus food pantry is "the way to do it".
"This is just an example of where we're hoping to go in the future," Reyburn added.
W.T.C. will host a kickoff food drive on Thursday at the Kumm Center. Smith and Reyburn said they both hope to feed "a couple hundred" people within the next year, but even helping a few people would be good.
"Even if it's just one person that we get to help, it makes a difference. I think even helping one student is a good thing. Everyone deserves food in their mouth and everyone deserves not to be hungry," Smith said.
The Cavalier Cupboard is located in room 119 in the Coleman Center and is available only to W.T.C. students. Students must present a valid W.T.C. student I.D., they can visit once per week and can take up to two bags of items with them per visit.
If you would like more information on the Cavalier Cupboard, you can go to Westerntc.edu or e-mail Smith or Reyburn at email@example.com.