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WCTC opens campus food pantry for students

March 28, 2012

Pewaukee - Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) opened its Campus Cupboard - a food pantry for students in need - at a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 5 at the campus.

The cupboard, in the College Center building, was opened to help students who would otherwise struggle with hunger. In an alarming new trend, college students are skipping meals to cope with the cost of tuition and a tough economy.

Last spring, WCTC staff surveyed students to find out whether there was a need for a Campus Cupboard at WCTC. They received almost 500 responses from students, and the results were overwhelming, said Kelly Ratliff, assistant director of Student Development.

"When we surveyed our students last year, nearly 40 percent of them reported skipping meals in order to save money," said Ratliff, who organized the Campus Cupboard. Some students said they skipped meals daily, and others said they skipped meals so they could feed their children first, she said.

Students who use the cupboard are asked to show their student ID and are limited to one prepacked bag of food, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items. The cupboard will help students meet their basic needs and perform better in the classroom, Ratliff said.

"We know that some of our students are struggling to make ends meet as they complete their educational journey," Ratliff said. "We hope that by providing nutritional support at our Campus Cupboard, we can assist students in their success at WCTC and beyond."

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