Saturday, May 25, 2024

Cardinal Cupboard evolves

By Hayden Sadler


The Cardinal Cupboard, SUNY Plattsburgh’s food shelf, has expanded greatly in size. It has moved to the space in Burghy’s Den that WQKE Radio used as its studio, in the Angell College Center. 

The Cardinal Cupboard provides a safe resource for off-campus students to get food supplies such as canned goods, pasta and ramen. Since Michele Carpentier retired from her position as director of special programs last May, the Cardinal Cupboard is now maintained by Kristina Maguire, student outreach and support coordinator on campus. 

Maguire previously worked as part of SUNY Plattsburgh’s Upward Bound program, which helps high school students prepare for college. Kat Henry is a student who has worked the Cardinal Cupboard since last semester. Together, the two are responsible for ensuring that the pantry stays stocked and that students understand how to utilize it.

“We just got a huge donation recently,” Henry said.

 The pair laid recently donated supplies — including but not limited to grains, canned food, condiments and boxed meals — out on a large table in the middle of the room, to be organized and added to the Cupboard. 

The Cupboard is always accepting donations. Many of them come from local churches, departments on campus and staff, Maguire said.  

Students can fill out a form and request supplies that they need. This could be anything ranging from hygiene to food products. Importantly, however, a student must be living off-campus to take food from the pantry. 

“It’s been an evolution,” Maguire said. “At the start of the semester, funds were low and supplies were low. However, SUNY has just allocated funds dedicated to our food pantry.”  

This “evolution” of the Cardinal Cupboard has allowed the pantry to expand as well as acquire more fresh food, Maguire added. Potentially, the Cupboard could use this new money to buy software allowing students to track what products they need online in addition to being able to pick up supplies according to the convenience of their own schedule, and expand its operating hours to be more convenient.

Looking forward, Maguire and Henry have hopes for the future of the Cardinal Cupboard. 

“I would like to be able to see the Cupboard expand its audience and make sure we have enough for the community,” Henry said. 

She also said that she would like to see stronger communication that allows students to register ahead of time if they feel they would need supplies.

“While our food items are available to off-campus students and, during extended breaks, to on-campus students, we want to help all students,” Maguire said.

Maguire emphasized her willingness to work with the student in need to ensure they have access to the resources they require. 

Funding from SUNY and donations from students, staff and members of the community alike all work together to ensure that the Cardinal Cupboard is there for students in need.

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