Richard N. Clark IV
In an effort to reduce food insecurity among EWU students, another food pantry will be installed on campus in the newly-renovated PUB. This addition will be the seventh food pantry at EWU.
The Office of Community Engagement, the Pride Center, Facilities and Planning, the Office of Sustainability and others are all working to fight food insecurity and ensure that EWU students have access to food even if they cannot afford any.
The community outreach coordinator for the Office of Community Engagement, Arick Erechar, encourages EWU students to utilize the food pantries.
“We accept the fact that life’s not easy, and we’re trying to make it a little easier for everyone,” Erechar said. “Take advantage of the resources that are on campus.”
A 2016 survey conducted by the EWU Department of Health and Wellness revealed that nearly 40 percent of EWU students have struggled with food insecurity.
Because this is just the second quarter since the food pantries have been installed, a new survey will be conducted at a later date to see the impact the pantries have made.
The Office of Community Engagement is focusing on bringing awareness to the EWU community about the food pantries.
“Our goal is to make the food pantries a student-run system,” Erechar said.
There are currently food pantries located in Showalter Hall, JFK Library, URC, Sutton Hall, Isle Hall and the P.E. Classroom Building.
In addition to the new food pantry in the PUB, there are plans to add refrigerated food to the food-pantry program.
“We are actually in the works of trying to implement a centralized location that will have fresh produce,” Erechar said.
This centralized location is expected to be in Tawanka as early as next fall. More information regarding access to refrigerated food will follow.
Putting an end to hunger and food insecurity for an entire community is undoubtedly a far-reaching goal, but the food pantries bring EWU one step closer to solving those problems. •