Students Enjoy Freebies from Cupboard Student Food Pantries

The next pantry theme, “Healthy Snacks for Finals,” includes applesauce, granola, peanuts, and healthy snacks and is available Dec. 8-10. The last pantry theme for the year is “Staying Warm with Soup,” which includes several cans of soup available Dec. 15-17.

Brian McNeil , Staff Writer

The Cupboard Student Food Pantries helps students by sharing needed food and personal items, and any student currently enrolled in MATC classes qualifies for shares.

Denise Holin, MATC’s very own Student Health Educator, reminds all students enrolled in degree credit courses are qualified for assistance and encourages them to take advantage of the food pantry.

During a WebEx interview, Holin encouraged The Clarion to spread the word to students that food resources are available for those who need help. Every week Holin has themed freebies, and she expressed her gratitude to the Madison College employees and staff, who helped provide freebies by donating over 800 items to the food pantry. She gratefully told of one student who single-handedly donated over 300 items to the pantry. The pantry gladly shares these, and all donated items, with any student who needs them.

An eligible student needs a valid One Card and a way to collect and transport ten pounds of food and various sundries. Holin says that you will need to complete a short information form when you first use the pantry and, on subsequent visits, show your One Card.

Holin arranges available freebees to mirror the pantry stock and the calendar. Next week’s pantry theme, “Healthy Snacks for Finals,” week includes applesauce, granola, peanuts, and healthy snacks and is available December 8-10. The last pantry theme for the year is “Staying Warm with Soup,” which includes several cans of soup available December 15-17. Holin even has next year’s first pantry theme planned as “Personal Care.” The first pantry event for returning students runs January 17-19 and includes shampoo and soap items.

She runs two donation outlets, one at Truax and the other at Goodman South. The Truax campus location is open on Tuesdays, noon to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays, 9 – 11 a.m. Enter the parking lot at Hoffman St. and follow the signs to the roundabout in front of the GHC entrance at the Health and Education and Information Technology building. The Goodman Street campus is open on Thursdays from 2 – 4 p.m. Students should enter the parking lot from Perry St. and follow the signs to the Shipping and Receiving entrance.

According to the Cupboard Student Food Pantries website, regional and metro campuses also help students. Ask your local campus front office for information.

Holin encourages students who need help or anyone who wants volunteer help to contact her by phone at (608) 246-6651 or through email at [email protected] or visit the Cupboard Student Food Pantry at https://madisoncollege.edu/cupboard-student-food-pantries.

When asked about students contacting her for help, Holin tells a story of one student needing a pet’s resources. She directed the student to WISCARES, https://wiscares.wisc.edu/, to receive support with food and medical supplies.

Holin’s knowledge of students’ busy schedules helped direct her to make simple food choices, of which Holin says, “I try to keep it healthy and nutritious.” She said that this year to date, there had been over 300 visits to the pantry, increasing from last year to date total of 250 trips. When asked about the pantry’s increasing patronage, Holin points to the ongoing pandemic creating a greater need for students.

Newly implemented Covid-19 related rules include staying inside your car for everyone’s safety. Open your trunk, and the staff will place your groceries inside. If your vehicle has no trunk, the pantry staff will leave the bag(s) on the ground for you to collect. Please remember to wear a mask and remain six feet apart when engaging with others.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive, please remain home and away from campus. Please contact the Cupboard to discuss options if you are ill.

Holin asks students to remember that she is “flexible” in her schedule, and when there is a need, she encourages students to “ask for what they need…to reach out and ask for help.”