Tucked away in a room no bigger than a utility closet in the Shepherd Union is a place for hungry students to find help.
Weber Cares Food Pantry is packed with a variety of canned fruit and vegetables, oatmeal, soup and even infant formula, which is beneficial to student parents on campus.
Brent Nelson, chair of Weber Cares, said that the help provided by the pantry is made possible by the donations from students, faculty and community members.
The food pantry received a large donation thanks to a food drive organized by one of the members of the National Order of the Eastern Star, Bernadette Kemp.
Kemp said that she was at an NAACP meeting where students were invited to share stories of students at WSU who struggled with hunger.
“At that point I decided that I wanted to do a food drive,” said Kemp.
Kemp sent e-mails and letters to a many people and also talked to people she knew.
“You don’t have to go to a grocery store, you just have to talk to friends and family and tell them what’s going on,” said Kemp.
Kemp told her friends, co-workers and other organizations about the food drive. Thanks to that, organizations like Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Incorporated and employees from the Hill Air Force Base participated in the food drive.
“My philosophy is, if you are sitting in a classroom and you are hungry, your mind is not into that because you are uncomfortable,” said Kemp.
Kemp thinks it is important for students to have the proper nourishment and to help in these kind of causes within the community because she wants students to not be hungry, and to be successful. She would like to make the drive an ongoing thing.
“Weber State does such a great job of providing food for students … it is nice when people (outside WSU) can recognize that we need this, because hungry students don’t get good grades,” Jennifer Wyllie, WSU student and African American senator said.
According to Nelson, Weber Cares was first started by the student Senate a couple of years ago.
“We provide about 400 pounds of food per week to students who are in need,” said Nelson.
In order to be able to get a bag of food per week, students need to present their Wildcard as a proof that they are students at WSU.
Weber Cares’ website mentions that the purpose of the program is to implement healthy eating choices, reduce food insecurity and boost students’ ability to stay in school and finish their degree.
“Our goal is not only to provide food but to hopefully reach students about eating healthy,” said Nelson “we have a cookbook that the Women Center provided, which we offer to students who come in, so they kind of have an idea if what they can do with the food and how to eat right.”
Nelson said that Weber Cares helps students by providing about 400 pounds of food per week. Students can take a bag of food per week.
The other program that Weber Cares offers is emergency food vouchers for food at Sodexo on campus.
“Weber State does care and that’s why they try to make sure that every aspect of our development is taken care of in order to get our academic elements done,” said Wyllie.
Food drives and donations are some of the things students can do to help Weber Cares. The other way students can collaborate is by volunteering at the pantry.
Students can volunteer at the pantry by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: This article was corrected to reflect that Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Inc. was a part of this food drive. (April 3, 2015)