Food insecurity is something that many college students struggle with; worrying about where their next meal will come from and not having the ability to make healthy meals.
Food insecurity is not only struggling with a lack of access to food, it is also not knowing where your next meal is coming from and not having healthy food to eat.
The Warrior Cupboard is a food shelf/pantry that was opened in 2017 at Winona State University with the goal of fighting food insecurity in its community.
Dr. Aurea Osgood is a professor of sociology at Winona State and is also the interim director for the Warrior Cupboard.
Dr. Osgood described the Warrior Cupboard as, “A place where students can come and get food and sanitary products as needed.”
Any student at Winona State can gain access to the Warrior Cupboard, regardless of what background they come from or current financial and housing status.
Previously, the only way students could get access to the Warrior Cupboard was to reach out to the Warrior Cupboard via email.
This process recently changed, Dr. Osgood said, now allowing students to request access online via Warrior Space.
The form that students have to fill out is titled, “Warrior Cupboard access request”. It is a simple form that has individuals agree to the rules of the Warrior Cupboard and has to be filled out yearly for students to continue accessing the pantry.
This new process is beneficial as it helps students maintain a sort of confidentiality and allows for another way to request use of the resource.
The Warrior Cupboard is beneficial to students since food insecurity is considered an issue amongst college students.
Sometimes students may not have the money or tools to build a healthy and substantial meal, but with the Warrior Cupboard they have the ability to get the resources necessary to do so.
The Cupboard is something that is still relatively new, which plays into why it is not as well-known amongst students.
“There are many factors that play into why the Warrior Cupboard is not as well known,” Osgood said. “One of the main things is that students are not actively discussing food insecurity, because it is not a normal topic that is talked about.”
Other factors that play into the Warrior Cupboard not being that well known is the location.
The Cupboard is tucked away in a corner in the Integrated Wellness Center (IWC). This is a positive because it helps protect students who may feel ashamed to utilize this tool, retaining a sense of confidentiality.
The reason this location may also be seen as a negative is because many students do not know the Warrior Cupboard is located there as it is not in entirely noticeable.
Another major factor that plays into why the Cupboard is not as well known is that there has not been much promotion of it.
That is where Student Senate comes into play; this past Tuesday, Student Senate passed a financial motion awarding the Warrior Cupboard $500 to utilize for promotional materials.
Josie Groebner, a fourth-year student majoring in political science and public administration who also wrote the motion for Student Senate, said she thinks the funding will truly help the Warrior Cupboard.
Groebner continued, “I do think [the additional funding] will help the Warrior Cupboard by giving them more resources that will help them have the ability to spend and help promote.”
Groebner confirmed the lack of promotion of the Cupboard and feels,” “it is still relatively unknown to students.”
“Hopefully more clubs and organizations on campus can help provide either volunteers, food or even monetary donations to the Warrior Cupboard,” Groebner said.
When asked why she felt the need to bring this motion to senate, Groebner explained how Student Senate has supported the Cupboard and its mission for a long time.
“Student Senate as a whole has been a big supporter of the Warrior Cupboard over the years and this is just yet another way we can support them and help them in ways we haven’t traditionally,”Groebner said.
Clubs and organizations are more than welcome to donate money, food and help to the Warrior Cupboard, according to Groebner.
The Warrior Cupboard is open to students who have requested access to it during Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.