Campus Cupboard: Free Food For All

By Sarah Burke, features editor

Photo of Ed Loubaki and Chouneng Khang posing in front of the Campus Cupboard sign taken by Sarah Burke on Oct. 12

In the basement of Anderson Hall, down a curving path of hallways, is the organization fueling students, community members and local organizations with free food five days a week: Campus Cupboard. 

Campus Cupboard is Augsburg’s food shelf, open to all students and staff to take their pick of fresh produce, meat and dried goods. It is staffed by around ten people, including Director Natalie Jacobson and Xena Wolf, the Food Justice Program Associate. As of this fall, it has a new location in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship in the basement of Anderson alongside new hours to accommodate for the increase in people getting food. On average, Campus Cupboard sees forty people per day. 

One of those students is Eva Mensing, a senior Social Work major, who visits the cupboard once or twice a week. She says that she really loves going to Campus Cupboard because it “feels like a support that isn’t given or recognized at many colleges.”

“I live with my boyfriend, his mom and younger brother so it feels really great to be able to come home with some food to share and be able to contribute a little extra on days I am not able to go to the grocery store,” said Mensing. “Overall, I think this is a great thing for students to be able to rely on when they otherwise may not have access based on time, money, or transportation to get groceries, especially some of the more luxury items they have available at the cupboard.” 

The food comes from a variety of places. A lot of it comes from Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit organization that provides free foods to Minnesotans. The organization also works with other local food organizations such as Twin Cities Food Justice to eliminate food waste from places like Whole Foods by distributing it to places like Campus Cupboard. There is also a donation bin in the Share Shop that students and staff can donate food to. 

Campus Cupboard is part of the umbrella organization Campus Kitchen. Campus Kitchen does everything from providing meals at the Brian Coyle Center to Food Lab workshops. Pa Her, a third year Business Management student, has worked for Campus Kitchen since last November as part of the Lead fellows program and she absolutely loves it. 

“I feel very comfortable and safe with the staff in Campus Kitchen and even in the Sabo Center,” said Her. “I feel like there is a great support for not only students but also a great support for student leadership. Working in Campus Kitchen really allows me to step into my leadership and think about what ideas and projects I want to pursue or bring to the table relating to Campus Kitchen.” 

If you want to find out more about Campus Cupboard or Campus Kitchen, visit https://www.augsburg.edu/campuskitchen/ or reach out to jacobsn@augsburg.edu or campuskitchen@augsburg.edu for more information.