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Cougar Food Pantry prepares to support students during the holidays

With the holiday season around the corner, people are getting ready to spend time with their families and enjoy shared meals. For some these meals can be a financial burden, but Washington State University Vancouver has resources for students who may need the extra support.

The Cougar Food Pantry supplies nonperishable food to students in need upon an anonymous request. The food pantry can be found in the Cougar Center, and accepts donations of nonperishable food items.

Students are encouraged to utilize this resource when it is needed. They are also encouraged to help the food pantry by donating food items.  Products such as instant potatoes, chili, canned meat, canned fruit, rice, healthy cereal, snacks, peanut butter and tuna are food pantry staples.

For the second year, students can make special Thanksgiving meal requests for this holiday season. These requests can be submitted until Thursday, Nov. 17.

The request form can be filled out online on the student affairs website. Applicants are asked to provide contact information along with a pick up date and time. Students are limited to one request per week and can pick up the food at the Cougar Center.

Megan Peaker, a senior majoring in English at WSU Vancouver, said, “I had no money, no food and they allowed me to put in two people so I could feed my fiancé and I. They also take into consideration food allergies. They literally saved my life, the Cougar Food Pantry is so important. More people need to support it.”

The food pantry is driven by donations. Students are strongly encouraged to make donations, especially during high demand times like the holiday season.

Another way to help bring in donations is by hosting a food drive. The food pantry provides a start up kit and information for conducting food drives on its website.

“We have filled 71 requests and have served a total of 195 students and their families this Fall semester. Last year we were able to provide 12 Thanksgiving meals and 14 Spring baskets which contained fresh protein and produce. We are currently on track to exceed and possible double our requests this Thanksgiving,” said Kafiat Beckley.

For more information about receiving food or volunteering, visit the food pantry’s website at http://studentaffairs.vancouver.wsu.edu/cougar-food-pantry or contact Kafiat Beckley at kafiat.beckley@wsu.edu

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