Students’ meal plan donations fill shelves at Jack’s Cupboard


Kaitlyn Lorang

Jack’s Cupboard relies on support from students and community members to help provide support for food-insecure students. Last fall, there were 300 block meals donated.

Kaitlyn Lorang, Reporter

SDSU students can give back to fellow Jackrabbits by donating block meals to Jack’s Cupboard.

Students with a block meal plan are eligible to donate block meals to Jack’s Cupboard until Dec. 3.

“You can only donate up to 50% of your block plan,” Christina Kaberline, associate director of housing and residential life, said. “We start the later part of the semester, so people don’t put themselves in jeopardy of running out of food.”

Michael Tauer, an SDSU freshman, is planning to donate some of his block meals to Jack’s Cupboard.

“I have the 50 block plan and I plan to donate some of my block meals,” he said. “I believe in the power of helping others, so when I found out about the option to donate my unused block meals, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Jack’s Cupboard is a food pantry that was developed for students who are enrolled at SDSU. The pantry supports students who are food insecure.

Jack’s Cupboard combats food insecurity by ensuring those students who struggle to buy food are provided this free resource supported by students, faculty and staff. 

Over the last 10 years, on United States college campuses, food pantries have expanded from 18 food pantries to now 700+ food pantries, Kaberline said.

The idea of opening a food pantry on campus started in July 2018. Jack’s Cupboard officially opened in November 2018. It is located on the south side of Ben Reifel Residence Hall.

“We have students who are trying to decide whether they pay for their rent, a book or to eat,” Kaberline said. “Their choice a lot of times is to do without food and it’s critical that we help support students with not having to make that choice.”

According to Hunger on Campus, a study published by The Association of American Colleges and Universities, 47% of four-year college students in the nation reported food insecurity. 

Jack’s Cupboard serves 20 to 30 students per week regularly throughout the school year. When these students come in, they are encouraged to take what they will use for the week.

“The 50 block plan has 2,205 students who selected it, and the 100 block plan has 602,” Doug Wermedal, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said. 

So many students have meal plans on campus and could choose to take advantage of donating unused block meals. According to Kaberline, there were 300 block meals donated last fall.

Block meals are used at Larson Commons and one block gets you an unlimited amount of food. A block meal plan does not roll over to spring semester.

To donate, students can visit card services in the Student Union, and they will take those meals off of your card.

While you cannot donate flex dollars, there are other ways to donate too, Kaberline said.

You can also buy nonperishable items with flex dollars from Jacks C-Store and donate them to Jack’s Cupboard that way.

Students can donate nonperishable food items each week Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the housing office attached to Spencer Hall.

The University Police Department is also open 24/7 to accept donations to Jack’s Cupboard. The Student Union has a drop-off location for nonperishables to be donated to Jack’s Cupboard.

There is also an account through Rabbit Raisers, and the link to donate can be found here:

“Food is critical to their (students) ability to do the best that they can and to accomplish what we as an institution want them to accomplish,” Kaberline said.