‘Rapid disappearance’ of donations reported at WSU food pantry

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The Wichita State food pantry has implemented new rules after it said people were abusing the free service.

“It’s been really difficult keeping food in the locker and making sure we are sustaining it so as many students, faculty and staff as possible are able to use it,” said Student Government Association Vice President Shelby Rowell.

The Shocker Support Locker offers food, hygiene products and even clothes to people in need on campus.

Since it opened, it’s been run on an honor system.

That changed on Monday after Rowell said two donations disappeared much quicker than normal.

“We had a donation from Dillons, about $1,600 worth of food coming in from Dillons, and it was gone in a matter of three business days,” Rowell said. 

Rowell said the WSU Police Department donated 176.4 pounds of food to the locker last week. She said it was gone within a few hours.

“We have gotten some reports from students where they have seen other people just take bags of donations away,” she said. “I mean, it’s sad and I think what’s the most frustrating part of it is we’re not able to help as many people as we really should be helping.”

SGA has implemented two changes to the locker. It’s now manned by a pair of employees and a school ID is required for use.

Rowell said she hopes this will help keep the shelves stocked while continuing to help those in need.

“We want to help as many people as possible and we don’t want people to feel guilty for taking the food, but we want to make sure that everyone is getting the help that they need,” she said.

Each person is allowed ten items per week. 

The locker is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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