WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – WSU Tech is trying to help students with more than just education by offering assistance to battle food insecurity.
What started as a holiday food drive has transformed into a stocked food pantry stocked by faculty and staff.
“As we were putting food away, so many students came up to us and indicated that they needed food,” said Justin Pfeifer, vice president of student services said. “We decided that we should start a legitimate food pantry and go through the process of getting it registered.”
Many WSU Tech students are in their mid-20s and said money is tight for them.
“Usually, I don’t have much in the fridge,” said Ronald Smith, student. “So, having a food pantry available to me is great.”
Smith said he was nervous when he walked into the food pantry for the first time, but he’s thankful he did.
“They walked me back and said help yourself, take what you need,” said Smith. “It was just overall a friendly and inviting experience.”
Smith said the need is great among college students and with a lot on their plate with classes, necessities often get put on the back burner.
“It helps a lot with just being able to focus on my schooling and my classes,” said Smith.
WSU Tech is working to add hygiene and family products to the pantry.
Officials said the ultimate goal is to be able to help not just students, but their families, too.
“If students are worried about where they’re gonna eat, where they’re gonna sleep, they don’t really have the capacity to worry about their academics,” said Pfeifer.
WSU Tech is working with the Kansas Food Bank (KFB) to get the food pantry registered so that supplies can come from the KFB warehouse.
The pantry is open to any student. You can simply go to the front desk of the office and ask to pick out what you need, no questions asked.