Help feed the hungry students

Erika Schwartz, Staff Writer

According to a recent study conducted by Feeding America, a company that helps combat hunger, 42.2 million Americans are food insecure.

Prof. Laura Dendinger and her Business Communications class are working this semester with WSC’s food pantry to make sure students have the correct resources to fight food insecurity.

“My students were working on a service-learning project for the food pantry and we wanted to know more about food insecurity,” Dendinger said. “We watched a film about a college that estimated 30 percent of their college students were food insecure. Food insecurity means people don’t have enough food. They are either rationing their food, living on one meal a day or even every other day.”

After watching the film, Dendinger said she began to worry that WSC students might be food insecure as well.

“As a result of food insecurity, students might be leaving campus because they don’t have enough to eat,” Dendinger said. “Or they might not be doing well in classes because they are having to go to class hungry.”

In order to better understand the needs of the student body at WSC, the class is conducting a survey on eCampus. Students will be randomly asked to take the survey until there are enough results to draw a conclusion.

Students who participate in the survey will also be entered into a drawing for a gift card.

“We work on a different project every year. This year, Quinneka Lee, the food pantry director, asked for help to publicize the food pantry,” Dendinger said.

The results from the survey will be given to Lee, so she can use them to establish a need to make the food pantry more accessible and available to students. Right now, the food pantry is located in a shared space in the basement of Morey Hall and is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. With the results from the survey, Dendinger hopes the pantry will able to move to a better and less limited space.

“Right now, students have to figure out a way to even get into the building,” Dendinger said. “We don’t want students who are in need to have limited access to supplies.”

Another reason the class decided to work on the project was that there are very few people on campus who even know about the pantry. Dendinger said only two of her students working on the project had even heard of the pantry, and one of her colleagues didn’t know it existed either.

In order to finish their project, the students and Dendinger have been working closely with Dr. Kenneth Hallgren and President Marysz Rames as well as the WSC Bookstore and Residence Life.

“We are really just hoping to learn more about student need and to publicize the pantry for anyone who runs out of food or supplies,” Dendinger said.

The pantry, which operates on volunteer work, is always looking for help. Anyone interested in helping out or donating food or supplies can contact Quinneka Lee at the Residence Life office or find the WSC Food Pantry on Facebook.