VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – For the past year, students at the University of South Dakota have been fighting food insecurity on campus through Charlie’s Cupboard. Today they’re preparing for their first food giveaway of the semester.
It’s been a year since Charlie’s Cupboard opened on the University of South Dakota campus and in that year they’ve been able to expand from a small closet in the Center for Continuing Education at USD to a larger room, offering more products to USD students.
“I’ve been with Charlie’s Cupboard since the ribbon cutting one year ago today and watching us go from literally a closet to a room that’s three times as big, it’s amazing to see,” Nathan Popp, president of Charlie’s Cupboard said. “We’ve got a fridge, we’ve got a freezer now, we’re able to offer those diverse products to students as well.”
They’ve expanded the items they offer to more than just food.
“This last summer, we’ve recently started purchasing more hygiene products for students,” Popp said. “Still focusing on food insecurity but also kind of taking a look at the other aspects of student life that sometimes students struggle with.”
Charlie’s Cupboard is a student ran initiative that’s served over a thousand students in it’s first year.
“I think it brings light to a mostly invisible situation that some of our students experience,” Cara Olson, Charlie’s Cupboard advisor said. “So, food insecurity is not something we see on a day-to-day basis and it can be something that’s not necessarily talked about until maybe someone is in a dire situation. And Charlie’s Cupboard is a really good opportunity to, one, de-stigmatize food insecurity within student populations, but also provide support before students start to feel like they’re unsupported.”
Charlie’s Cupboard is open every second and third Thursday of the month from 4-7 p.m.