Can't afford food? Try Champ's Cupboard

BY EMILY NESS | Correspondent | The Statesman Some time ago, baby boomers in America paid for college with the money that they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, the cost of college began to go up, in turn forcing the millennial generation to take on crushing loans.

The average yearly cost of college for an in-state undergraduate student at UMD is $23,998 and the average yearly cost of college for an out-of-state undergraduate student is $27,948.

In order to help with this task, the University of Minnesota Duluth opened a food shelf on campus called Champ’s Cupboard.

The food shelf is located in room 245AA Kirby Plaza and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Although the room is small, the impact that it has had has been huge for many students.

Executive assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Life Laura Haffield was behind the creation of Champ’s Cupboard. It began when Haffield realized that some students’ budgets were so financially tight that they were going hungry.

“We knew that food shelves started to be something that college students needed,” Haffield said. “It is just another way of supporting students so that they can be the best that they can be.”

UMD is one of many college campuses that have created a food shelf.

Senior Stephanie Anderson is a Communication and Cultural Entrepreneurship major. She has been working in Kirby Plaza as an office assistant since her freshman year.

“Stephanie has been here since the beginning,” Haffield said. “She helped with generating ideas as well as putting those ideas into action”.

Stephanie said it was great to see the UMD community get involved in helping with the food shelf.

For the past year, volunteers have been stocking the shelves with canned goods, boxed meals, laundry soap and shampoo. Anyone who feels that they are in need is welcome.

“When students come in they check in at the front desk with their U-Card and fill out a form,” Haffield said.

Names are not kept on record. The organization believes in keeping students anonymous.

“There is no judgement or criteria needed,” Haffield said. “This way students will feel comfortable coming back.”

Most of the supplies are donated by faculty and staff. Some students donate as well.

“It is used almost every day,” Andersen said. “It has been really cool to engage with the students coming in as well as building relationships with those students.”

Haffield won the U’s Outstanding Service Award in October of 2014 for starting Champ’s Cupboard.

“We are here,” Haffield said. “This is a resource for you to use.”


Emily Ness is a correspondent for The Statesman.

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