SDSU food drive begins Monday


Leah Sip

Jack’s Cupboard, located in Ben Riefel Hall, is SDSU’s food pantry on campus. The pantry is holding its eighth annual food drive “Pack the Pantry” to encourage more donations from students, staff and Brookings community members.

Bosten Morehart, Reporter

Jack’s Cupboard will begin its eighth annual “Pack the Pantry” food drive Monday, Oct. 24 and with an increase of students in need, the pantry team is hoping to completely fill up the location’s space.

Pack the Pantry is one of Jack’s Cupboard’s largest nonprofit food drives of the year. While the pantry accepts donations year-round, this is the main food drive. The pantry puts this event on to bring the campus and community together in its mission to help students in need.

“We try to get pretty much everyone on campus and even members of the community involved to essentially overfill the pantry as much as possible,” Dominic Meyers, Jack’s Cupboard’s public relations coordinator, said. “Not only are we able to make it through for a couple weeks, but hopefully (we) build up enough supply to keep us going for a prolonged period.”

Along with food donations, Jack’s Cupboard also accepts utensils, bowls, plates, seasonings and other kitchen supplies. 

The pantry is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Students, faculty and members of the community are all invited to donate.

This year’s Pack the Pantry aims to address the uptick in the number of students who use the cupboard this year compared to last year.

“Where last year we would see maybe 25 to 50 students a week, we are now seeing anywhere from 60 to 120 a week,” Meyers said.

When Jack’s Cupboard does not have enough inventory, officials have to go out and buy it themselves, which can be a struggle because they are a nonprofit organization. 

Meyers suggests students and other donors bring whatever they can for the pantry, with no donation being too small.

“Ramen is a really good, inexpensive form, because we are open to students also donating and I understand students, even if they aren’t facing food insecurities, are not the wealthiest population,” he said.

Some items are often in short supply because of the high demand from those who visit the pantry. These include laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper and can openers. The pantry receives many canned items, but without a can opener, the students will not be able to use those items.

Students can contact the Jack’s Cupboard team through its website or social media for assistance outside of the pantry’s hours or in case of an emergency.

Students can also volunteer with Pack the Pantry – or Jack’s Cupboard in general – by contacting the team on the pantry’s website.

“We do have a bit of training that we go through your first time coming, just so you’re not thrown into the fray for your first time,” Meyers said. “We want it to be a positive experience.”

Though the team wasn’t able to add anything new to this year’s event, Meyers says Pack the Pantry’s  main focus is to fill Jack’s Cupboard as much as possible to help students, even to the point where “you can’t walk through [the pantry].”

The event will continue through Nov. 4.

The Jack’s Cupboard team consists of Keri Pappas, volunteer coordinator and president, Shannon Pappas, fundraising coordinator, and Meyers. The team is also putting together a student board for the pantry.