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Thursday, May 13, 2021

AS proposing on-campus food pantry

By Rachel Sandal

Have you been struggling to put food on the table? The AS Board of Directors discussed an idea to address the issue of food insecurity at their meeting on Wednesday.

Christian Urcia, apartment coordinator at Birnam Wood, proposed the idea that Western and the AS Board install multiple food pantries on campus called the Viking Pantry.

Urcia wants the Residence Hall Association and the AS Board members to team up and try to fund and sustain a food pantry, said Annie Gordon, AS vice president.

“The main goal of the Viking Pantry is to address the issue of food insecurity as experienced by all members of the campus community,” Urcia said.

The program provides food kits to people who access the pantry. The Viking Pantry program will also offer students volunteer opportunities and internships for school credit, Urcia said.

Staff, campus community members and volunteers would organize food and monetary donation collection events. Staff will also be expected to actively solicit donations from the campus community and local Bellingham and Whatcom County businesses and organizations, Urcia said.

Urcia surveyed 141 students in Birnam Wood this summer and found a large percentage said at one time or another they did not have enough food for themselves or they knew someone who did not have enough food.

Urcia and the AS Board of Directors urge students to get involved in the food pantry and its development as well as other events and programs in the community, like the food bank, that help feed those in need.


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