Standing in the Gap

UCM Campus Cupboard helps people find food and grocery help


Photo by Muritala Ayinla

Student workers help support the campus by working at the Campus Cupboard. The Campus Cupboard helps others who do not have the money for food. Located on the lower level in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the Campus Cupboard is open for all students, regardless of economic standing.

Students at the University of Central Missouri continue to commend the University’s Campus Cupboard as a place that stands in the gaps of their needs.

  Sanni Olatunde, a Graduate Student in the department of Industrial Management, said the UCM Campus cupboard as a great initiative for students that require supplementary food while enrolled in a program at the university. Olatunde said that most international students found the initiative very helpful due to the limited funds for groceries.

   “The UCM Campus Cupboard is a great initiative and has an enormous impact on students, especially International students like me that are only working part-time and have less amount of money for grocery shopping,” Olatunde said. “The initiative is worth every bit of it because the number of students taking food from the Campus Cupboard increases each academic semester. For me the current operations are fantastic and I don’t see any need for improvement.”

  According to Feeding America, food insecurity has the potential to harm college students’ ability to achieve their educational and professional goals. As students struggle to make grades, they can also struggle to have enough food. Food banks have responded to the need on college campuses with a brick-and-mortar food pantry, as UCM’s Campus Cupboard. 

  The Campus Cupboard is a food pantry for the university students, faculty, staff and affiliates to address and reduce food insecurity among the campus community, students said the initiative has greatly impacted their lives on campus.

  According to many students, nothing could be more impactful and helpful than the initiative which helps them to manage their usual inadequate budget for food and other items. They hailed the Campus Cupboard for striving to decrease food insecurity on campus by supplying free, nutritional food to any student, employee, or faculty member.

  The Cupboard offers a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, nonperishables, and hygiene items. The non-perishable food is from a local harvester from the Kansas City area, Walmart, ALDI, and some Warrensburg residents. The Campus Cupboard is mostly used by the students and some faculty. 

  Meanwhile, one of the social workers at the Campus Cupboard, Kaylee Bohle, confirmed that the turnout has been impressive lately, saying that workers are always eager to attend to the student’s needs at the Cupboard. Bohle said they are also passionate about ensuring that some of the needs of the students are met through the Campus Cupboard.

  Also speaking on her experience, a Graduate student, Santoshini Arkatala, said, “It is an excellent endeavor by the UCM. We are all grateful to the university as well as the Departments of Communication Disorders and Social Work, Nutrition and Kinesiology, and Kinesiology.The Campus Cupboard because it helps a lot. Whenever I don’t have much to go to Walmart for groceries, the campus cupboard comes to the rescue. “

  On his part, Siddarth Tripathi said that the Campus Cupboard has positively impacted the lives of students who are living on a strict budget. “It is a great idea and an excellent initiative by the University. Indeed, it impacts the students’ lives. While pursuing your studies, you are living on a strict budget, and the campus cupboard helps to maintain that. It is a good idea; however, more healthy food items should be available for the students.”

  He added that such initiative must be sustained with improvement always to make life better for students. “The University is trying its best to conduct different events and encourage participation in various events. We are thankful to the University for providing us with such a great experience in our college life,” he said.

  Junior Aviation major, Heyeonje Sung, described the Campus Cupboard as “a good wealth” for students, especially during the financial crisis. Sung’s homeland is South Korea. He said,  “The UCM Campus Cupboard is a really good asset for students. I went for food because I’m a little broke and want to save my budget on eating if possible. And it was quite nice to have meals for a few days for free. Everything is so gorgeous that there is nothing to complain about except I need to have a can opener to open a can.”