Cats’ Cupboard food pantry plans expansion, new hours

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Erin Bishop, coordinator of the new campus food pantry, Cats Cupboard, and Mark Wollard, graduate research assistant and student in family studies and human services, stack cans on Sept. 21, 2017. (File photo by Regan Tokos | Collegian Media Group)

Just a few weeks after the opening of the Cats’ Cupboard, Kansas State’s newest food pantry, its employees are continuing to increase the pantry’s impact and set new goals.

Donations have been rolling in daily from organizations and individuals. These donations help provide complete, nourishing meals for college students.

“We have definitely been growing,” said Mark Woolard, Cats’ Cupboard employee and graduate student in family studies. “Every week, there has been an increase of at least two to three students walking through our doors.”

Moving forward, the food pantry hopes to reach more students in need.

“One of our biggest goals is still to raise awareness of us to make it common knowledge of our organization and purpose,” Erin Bishop, Cats’ Cupboard coordinator, said. “We would like to eventually get perishable items and produce stocked on our shelves.”

The Cats’ Cupboard will host their official grand opening on Monday. As part of a promotional campaign, new branding pieces and logos will be released.

The Cats’ Cupboard is also looking to form collaborative partnerships with other campus organizations and partners outside the university.

“We would like to change from a start-up operation to something that becomes an intricate part of the community at K-State,” said Stephen Kucera, student support director and graduate student in accounting.

Next week, the Cats’ Cupboard will expand their hours to better accommodate students. The new hours will be Sundays from 5 – 7 p.m., Mondays from 12 – 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 1 – 6 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“We just accepted around a dozen new volunteers to help out for one to two hours a day,” Woolard said. “The new volunteers will definitely help our scheduling issues and hours.”

Food and hygienic items are available for students to take when needed. Popular items include breakfast cereals, instant rice, prepackaged snacks, canned meat and canned fruit. The pantry welcomes donations.

“Everyone needs access to food, so if you are a student, you are welcome to come use our services,” Bishop said. “The first time a student comes in, they will fill out a form and any future [visits] will just require the scanning of their student ID card.”

For more information, stop by 009 Fairchild Hall or contact Erin Bishop at [email protected].

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