From rent, to tuition and fees, to textbooks and health insurance, college can certainly be an expensive endeavor. However, a new initiative at CSM is working to make sure that students do not have to worry about basic necessities like food and toiletries.
The Mines Food Cupboard supplies nonperishable food items and toiletries such as soap and shampoo for free. While the program is focused on students, any member of the Mines community who is struggling financially is welcome to collect a bit of food from the cupboard.
“At dorm move out, I noticed that there was some waste, so I came up with the idea to collect food from those moving out and see where we went with it,” explained Fran Aguilar, ROTC University Liaison.
Aguilar previously helped Peg Mason and Louisa Duley organize Thanksgiving food baskets, and has now partnered with Mason, Duley, Kathy Ebeling, and Kay Godel-Gengenbach to start the cupboard program.
“It is for anyone in the Mines community who is going through a rough patch,” said Aguilar. “Everyone has a hard time now and then.” Red Rocks Community College, where Kay Godel-Gengenbach also works, has a food cupboard that served as the template for the CSM initiative
The cupboard officially opened on Aug. 14 and so far the most popular items have been pasta and peanut butter. However, there is also a large variety of canned vegetables, soups, meat and tuna, popcorn, and other nonperishables. While most of the food was collected from residence hall clean-outs and the 2017 first year community service project, donations are welcome and should be placed in the separate plastic bin located next to the cupboard or arrangements can be made by calling Fran at 303-273-3380.
“More and more campuses are experiencing homelessness and hunger,” Aguilar stated. “We have all heard our own stories.” When a funding plan falls through at the last minute, many students use rent and grocery funds to pay for tuition and books.
“The human spirit is so amazing,” expressed Aguilar. “If someone wants to get that degree, they are going to sacrifice food or rent because in the long run it is going to be well worth it. They are driven and any way we can help them is great.”
The committee advertised the Mines Food Cupboard in the Daily Blast and at Oredigger Camp and hopes to continue spreading the word on campus. Members do not anticipate a shortage of food this school year but will keep evaluating the project as the school year goes on.
The Mines Food Cupboard is located in the Ben Parker Student Center on the first floor in the hallway between the Cashier’s office and SAIL. CSM community members are encouraged to take advantage of the service, spread the word, and donate when possible.
“So far it has been very successful,” Aguilar reflected. “It is a simple idea but it can really help a lot.”