More than 300 students have signed up and taken advantage of the services at the Campus Cupboard and Career Closet after opening at its new location on Sep. 7.
The goal of Campus Cupboard is to supply students with one of their basic needs – food. The Career Closet is available to help students dress professionally by providing the necessary clothing. Both of these services are available to students free of charge.
Campus Cupboard and Career Closet have moved to the old bookstore on St. Mary Street right in the middle of campus where it can be easily accessed by students before and after classes.
Erin Garrett is a Graduate Assistant assigned to manage the Campus Cupboard and Career Closet and has noticed how many students are in need of support.
“I think so many students are utilizing it because they simply need the assistance,” Garret said.
Campus Cupboard is supplying students with food they would find in their pantries including goods like rice, pasta, cereal and other shelf-stable items.
Students are allowed to use the Campus Cupboard twice a month.
Students and faculty would register and complete a short intake process to get access to the services offered at the Campus Cupboard and Career Closet.
“During our first week of operation, we had lines out the door of people getting their intakes done,” Garrett said.
The Career Closet allows students to take up to five items for a professional outfit such as a coat, tie, pants, shirt and shoes during the semester.
The Career Closet gives students an opportunity to dress appropriately for presentations, job interviews, career fairs and student organization events.
Students now know that these services are available to them, and they do not have to be ashamed to seek assistance.
“I have overheard students say what a relief the cupboard is to them and many others tell me how thankful they are that we are here,” Garrett said.
Most of the food at Campus Cupboard is donated through the Second Harvest Food Bank. The food is ordered twice a month and is brought to campus with assistance from the Office of Transportation.
Campus Cupboard is always accepting donations of fresh fruit, vegetables and milk, along with nonperishable food items.
“On your next trip to the grocery store, consider spending 5-10 extra dollars on items for the cupboard,” Garrett said.
The Career Closet also encourages people to donate graduation wear.
“We also hope to collect some cap and gowns and build a section for our graduates that have difficulty purchasing these one-time use items,” Garrett said.
Members of the Campus Cupboard and Career Closet hope to eventually provide education about grocery shopping, how to cook a nutritional meal on a college budget and how to dress for success.
Garrett’s hope for the future of the Campus Cupboard and Career Closet is to keep providing these goods and services for students and faculty.