Local college provides food pantry for students in need

LA CROSSE, Wi. (WEAU)-- Since 2014, Western Technical College in La Crosse has been providing students in need with food.

They do so through their Cavalier Cupboard. The initiative was started by a student's project for class and has since expanded.

The school knows the resource is needed for many students.

"The cupboard is a pretty life saving resource for a lot of students," said Chris Farvour, Western's community-based learning specialist. "For a lot of students, this is the only source of food that they have from Monday to Friday."

The items inside the pantry are mainly provided by Hunger Task Force in La Crosse.

Students also donate through collection bins throughout campus. The cupboard moved this year to a bigger location.

Western says there are many benefits resulting from the pantry.

"It helps our students to be able to stay focused in the classroom," Farvour said. "It helps them to be able to complete assignments on time, to be able to pay attention in class, to build relationships with other students and faculty members."

Any student that wants to use the cupboard only has to fill out a quick access survey that the school uses to help identify other resources a student might need.

The pantry doesn’t just have items that a typical college student would need, but materials for the whole family.

"We’re able to provide things like hygiene products, diapers--we have a lot of parents that end up actually becoming students here at Western," Farvour said. "CNA students or health allied students in general are able to get some scrubs here in the cupboard."

Over 400 people benefited from the pantry in September and the school hopes that the number continues to increase.

"We’re really looking to normalize the use of the Cavalier Cupboard, so that people don’t necessarily have to feel ashamed or self conscious about utilizing this resource," Farvour said.

The Cavalier Cupboard is located inside the Learning Commons on the second floor of the Student Success Center.