Madison College fights student food insecurity

MADISON, Wis (WMTV) -- Madison College is putting an educational twist on a campus food pantry to help students battling food insecurity.

Students can grab up to ten pounds of food per week, but it's about more than just free food. The goal of the pantry is to educate about nutrition and encourage students to eat healthy on and off campus.

"I'm not going to be working for the next month or two and I was just getting a little nervous wondering how I was going to make ends meet," Diana Lynn Craine, Madison College Student said.

Craine said me worrying about classes and graduation is stressful enough, but adding food insecurity to the list makes her job as a student that much harder.

"If I didn't eat then I'd get hungry and wouldn't be able to study as well," she said.

Madison College took notice of the growing problem that's impacting campuses across the country so they started an educational food pantry
where students can take food and knowledge from the Cupboard Truax Campus Food Pantry.

"It's just phenomenal. It's been very helpful. I don’t know how I would have gotten by in the next couple weeks," Craine said.

The pantry is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a couple hours a day.
Recipe ideas line the shelves of food items that are a healthy variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"It's just been wonderful. You know your regular staples. You have noodles and fruit," Craine said.

It doesn't stop there. After you grab food from the food pantry, you can bring it to the meal planning session to learn how to cook and shop on a budget.

"The thing that I'm most excited about in regards to this is the good and cheap cookbook, " Emily Noon, Madison College Student said.

Students have the opportunity to ditch the Ramen and upgrade to foods cooked in a brand new crockpot also available in the pantry to take home.

They can listen to tutorials on the most affordable ways to grocery shop and gain a food resource guide stacked with budget friendly recipes

Noon said she's doing her best to soak in tips to not break the bank when money is tight.

"That's amazing. Next semester is going to be so different for me. I know I'm going to save so much money because of it," she said.

The pantry has had nearly 300 visits since it opened in September.
Pantry organizers said they are hoping to see that number climb in an effort to help students in need.