March 28, 2023

So many things are changing this year at Wittenberg University, and so many of those changes have been for the better. Here’s one more to add to the list: the relocation of the Campus Cupboard.

The Campus Cupboard has been a fairly recent addition to campus wellness. The idea of the original cupboard came from Dean of Students Casey Gill, Pastor Rachel Tune and Director of Community Service Kristen Collier in Sept. 2018. Since then, Weaver Chapel Ministry Associate Daniel Jacob (’10) has been working with those organizers and students to keep the cupboard as functional as it can possibly be.

“We’ve been keeping it stocked, soliciting donations, tracking usage and finally transitioning [it] to the new space,” Jacob said.

The cupboard’s purpose was to stabilize the sudden increase of hunger and food insecurity among students on campus. The goal was to make sure no student would have to go a day without having enough to eat. Originally, the cupboard was a single metal cabinet with small shelves located inside Weaver Chapel. It offered “microwavable soup, pasta and rice, granola bars, fruit cups, cereals, cracker packets and other food items,” Jacobs said. It also made available toothpaste, soap, feminine products and deodorant.

The new space in the Hagen Center has been in the works since spring 2020. According to Jacobs, there were some delays due to COVID-19.

“[We] are pleased the space is finally open,” he said. “We especially want to thank Physical Plant and Alpha and Omega for playing a big part in preparing the new space.”

The shift kicked off on the Sept. 19 Super Service Saturday, when the chapel staff and more than 20 Wittenberg students began the transition process.

“They scrubbed every inch of the new space [in the Hagen Center] to ensure that it would be safe and ready for our students,” Jacob said. “The shelves, fridge, freezer and cabinets are all cleaned and sanitized and so are the floors, walls, windows and doors.”

Because of the additions of the fridge and more shelves, the cupboard is now able to provide fresh fruit and vegetables, bags of chips and snacks, razors and shaving cream, toothbrushes, body wash, cooking utensils, plates and mugs.

The cupboard’s expansion has allowed for a wider array of products, including hygiene and bathing items. (Meghan Nadzam/The Wittenberg Torch)

Like numerous other students, volunteer Madalyn Marsengill (’23) also helped Jacobs with the project. She offered insight on what the cupboard really does for students.

“The Campus Cupboard has allowed for any student, no matter who they are or what kind of living situation they are in to get things they need to have a healthy life at Wittenberg,” Marsengill said.

Gabrielle Doty (’23), one of the volunteers that helped set up the new location, commented on its meaning to the campus.

“The Campus Cupboard is a wonderful resource to all students on campus despite their own personal situation,” she said. “It both exemplifies Wittenberg’s care towards its students and is a way for students to get involved for the betterment of their peers.”

The new hours of the Campus Cupboard are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4pm-7pm in the Hagen Center at 721 North Fountain Avenue. Students will simply need to reserve time slots to stop in and pick out what they need here.

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