Hunger is real and although many would not believe it, it takes place within our staff and students here at WOU. It is rather unfortunate that this exists, because no one should have to deal with hunger, however, thanks to staff, and the power of students, there is now a resource to help reduce some of that hunger.I first began to hear rumors that the building of a food bank was in the process on campus. I was rather intrigued but after that term, I believe it was spring, I never heard about it again. It was not until this term that I heard that the food bank was in business. So, for that reason, I took it upon myself to see what this place was about, to shed some “light” on it, and to learn more about it, so that I could pass along information to anyone able to receive help from it, including fellow students and friends.
Speaking with one of the people behind the idea of the food bank, Jackson Stalley, we sat one-on-one, while he answered the many questions that I had for him.
We first discussed what initially started up the idea of building a food bank on campus. He responded by saying that on the one hand, it began from a student lead effort involving a nutrition project that a group of students were working on. On the other, and around that same time, Jackson began contemplating the idea of a food bank when he began to hear stories about people working on campus who were not able to feed their families, much less themselves. Thus, his efforts, matched with student efforts made the food bank a success.
With that said, the bank is mostly student run and it serves the campus community. Volunteers are always welcome! And while most of the food from the bank is purchased through fundraising, people can donate as well. So, if interested, you can donate too! The food bank takes about anything that is not “terribly perishable”, according to Jackson. If you cannot donate food, cash is also welcome so that the food bank members can buy both food and supplies to help keep the bank going.
Jackson also mentioned an important point regarding the stigma of receiving food from a food bank. In case any of you are interested in receiving food but are embarrassed to ask, food can be given in an way that is not obvious to people. For example, Jackson revealed that food can be given in book store bags, to reduce or avoid the stigma that many people may be afraid of. Thus, do not hesitate if you are in need!
Jackson concluded this interview by stating, “There is a real issue with food and security on our campus. I am really happy with how the WOU community and the Hungry Like The Wolf people have really responded to this need and pitched in. I think that we are serving a growing need in our community, and the number of people visiting the food bank is a testament to the problem. ”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can contact Jackson Stalley (firstname.lastname@example.org), Keri Knight at the food bank location, or you can e-mail email@example.com for further questions! You are also welcome to stop by their location, which is in the APS building (211), near the honors lounge where they are open Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
By Antonia Rojas