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Campus Cupboard: Food for Jayhawks
Jodi Bouyack

Nearly one in three KU students struggles with food insecurity, according to a survey conducted in spring 2018 by Stacey Swearingen White, director of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. The university is committed to raising awareness, identifying resources and encouraging compassion about hunger and food insecurity in our community.

KU Student Affairs and the Center for Community Outreach operate the Campus Cupboard, a grocery-style free food resource available to all KU students, faculty and staff. Last year, the store moved from its off-campus location to a new space on Level 4 of the Kansas Union to make it more convenient for the KU community. The Campus Cupboard is accessible from both the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. Just Food, the Douglas County food bank, supplies the food, and KU Dining provides prepackaged items.

The Campus Cupboard is currently staffed by a KU Master of Social Work student, but a future goal is to hire someone full time to allow expanded hours of operation to better meet the needs of students.

“Over the past year, my experience at the Campus Cupboard has been life-changing,” said Alexandria Hall, Campus Cupboard coordinator. “Being in a position to help hundreds of people access a basic need is heartwarming. This is a safe space on campus where everyone in the KU community can come, free of judgment and receive help.”

Research to ascertain the depth and breadth of these concerns is ongoing, but expanded resources and services are needed in order to support KU’s most vulnerable students. The university believes the Campus Cupboard will grow and become sustainable and also will serve as a tool to fight the stigma that surrounds hunger on campus.


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