The Caring Cupboard at Washington County Community College Helps Students Stay Full and Focused
Student Navigator, Bernadette Farrar, and a staff of work study students, have made it their mission to never let a student at Washington County Community College (WCCC) go hungry.
The Caring Cupboard (CC), located in Riverview Hall, helps them achieve this goal.
The Caring Cupboard is open to any enrolled WCCC student who may be in need; no paperwork is required. The only ask of students who are accessing the CC is that they sign in using a QR code. This allows staff to complete the mandatory reporting required of a Good Shepherd Food Bank community partner.
The shelves are stocked with pasta, sides, canned tuna and chicken, seasonings, canned fruit and vegetables, rice, and the ever-present Ramen Noodles that are important to all college students. The Caring Cupboard also stocks frozen meats and vegetables, eggs, milk, and fresh produce. Personal care and cleaning products are also available. Snacks are easily accessible for students who may not have funds to be able to grab something quickly from the cafeteria between classes. Currently, the Caring Cupboard is open and staffed with work study students most of the school day Monday through Thursday.
Comments from students when asked about The Caring Cupboard include, “I like to be able to get food at the Caring Cupboard. It helps stretch my budget and feed my family.” “I think it is awesome to have a place like this on campus to help broke college students.” “I think it is a welcoming place with a wide variety of food and drink options. The staff are polite and welcoming and always willing to help. If we are looking for something dietary specific, they will try to get it for us.”
“The CC has a budget from the college. We also receive Turkey-A-Thon donations. The money is stretched by purchasing as much as possible through Good Shepherd Food Bank. We also coordinate and source some supplies with the generous assistance of the Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry located here in Calais,” mentioned Farrar.
Students and staff also assist in stocking the pantry by hosting food drives throughout the school year and sharing extra produce from their gardens during harvest season.
“Last year in September, The Caring Cupboard saw 59 visits with 30 unique users,” Farrar reports. “This year, we have had 135 visits with 53 unique users. This represents a 129% increase in usage over September of 2021 and a 77% increase of individual unique users.”
Donations are always welcome.
Contact Bernadette Farrar at email@example.com for more information or to learn how you can help.