Eastern Kentucky University’s Colonel’s Cupboard has provided countless students with basic human necessities such as canned goods, dry goods, toiletries, and school supplies for years now. Typically, Colonel’s Cupboard hosts two food drives every academic year: one near the end of spring semester and one around Thanksgiving.
In the face of a pandemic, donations have been lower and in-person food drives are difficult to organize as many students and faculty members are working from home and adhering to new health and safety guidelines. For the fall food drive cycle, in place of the usual November food drive, Colonel’s Cupboard is conducting a virtual food drive. The Cupboard is requesting monetary donations in lieu of actual canned items, boxed goods and toiletries that would typically be donated. The Cupboard has a goal of 300 donations. The monetary amount can be as low or high as the donor desires.
“We want to encourage people to donate,” said Annabelle Leskinen, Colonel’s Cupboard Education Specialist, “We want people to realize that you can donate a dollar, two dollars and it will still be effective.”
A survey conducted by EKU in 2015 showed that one in six students face food insecurity on-campus at some point during their college career.
“The Cupboard allows students to be successful while not having to worry about where their next meal is going to come from,” said Dylan Bogard, Assistant Director of Student Life and First-Year Experience.
Colonel’s Cupboard is collaborating with the office of Annual Giving to help promote the November food drive. Annual Giving’s director, Krista Rhodus, says one of the primary goals of her office is to connect donors to their interest through letters, emails, and text messages. For this particular campaign, Annual Giving also plans to post an announcement in EKU Today and send out an email to all faculty and staff to further promote the food drive.
In previous years, competitions between departments have been big factors in driving donations. Donors can select their department (if applicable) when donating online so the competition remains, in the virtual format.
Earlier in the year, Colonel’s Cupboard was packaging and delivering food boxes to students. This differs from their usual routine which allows students to come in and “shop” for items they need (which are free to them).
Now, students can make an appointment online to come in and shop for specific items, but safety protocols are strictly enforced and only one student is able to shop at a time.