Bods Feeding Bods exemplifies WU values

Jessica Knieff

Non Nobis Solum: not for ourselves alone.

Washburn’s motto is what Bods Feeding Bods embodies each day it serves Washburn students, staff and faculty.

The food pantry run by students, which began in the fall of 2014, now operates three days a week in Henderson Room 019. The shelves are stocked and sorted for members of the Washburn community to get the food they need. A valid Washburn ID is all a student needs to access the pantry.

A research study done in 2014 by Kelsey Rose, Washburn psychology graduate, found that a shockingly high number of Washburn Students were food insecure, meaning that they do not have consistent daily access to food.

She was a leading force in the creation of the food pantry and her vision became reality when the pantry opened in a space donated by Washburn’s psychology department.

Today, the pantry offers various plans that take into account the number of household members in need of food assistance and how frequently each individual needs to use the pantry. Bods Feeding Bods allows individuals to take enough to feed their household because food insecurity rarely affects just one member of a household.

Emma Staats, sophomore criminal justice major, is the volunteer coordinator for the Bods Feeding Bods food pantry.

“We’re all in this stage in our lives where we don’t have a lot of money,” Staats said. “We’re trying to stay as healthy as possible and we can all use [the pantry] to supplement our meals.”

Staats encourages other students to volunteer as well. In addition to it being highly convenient for students to volunteer and the fairly simple training process, she noted the intrinsic benefits of volunteering.

“It’s very rewarding and you get to see the impact,” Staats said. “Many of the donations come from students. It’s cool to see the student community give back, as well as volunteer.”

Kristine Hart, associate director and lecturer for the Center for Community Services, has worked with the students who run the pantry since its inception. She stressed the importance of awareness about hunger on campus.

“For a lot of students, when they go into the real world and work they are going to come across people who are living in poverty and suffering from hunger,” Hart said. “Whether they go into health care, criminal justice or they become a teacher or a social worker, these are all things that are going to impact them down the road.”

According to Hart, the pantry served 42 people in 2016 and distributed a total of 3,093 cans of food. She suspects that there are many more individuals in need that are not aware of Bods Feeding Bods.

Hart also stated that a partnership with WSGA has allowed for donations to Can Emporia to be directed to the food pantry as well. These student donations largely provide the food needed to keep the shelves stocked.

“It’s hard enough being a college student when you’re thinking about being hungry and trying to study for your college algebra test at the same time,” Hart said.

Various donation bins are currently outside of Henderson 019 and in various locations around campus. If students wish to aide the pantry, but cannot afford to donate food or personal hygiene items, the pantry welcomes volunteers. For more information, contact Staats at [email protected].

Any Ichabods in need of food assistance can stop by Henderson 019 Mondays 3 to 6 p.m., Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Fridays noon to 3 p.m.

Whether you purchase an extra can of food with your meal plan money or give an hour or so of your time each week volunteering, any student can be involved with Bods Feeding Bods.

“When it comes down to it, being engaged in your community is really what it means to be an Ichabod,” Hart said.