WILMINGTON — A judgment-free program is giving a helping hand to students.
Wilmington College has established an outreach program called the Quaker Cupboard.
It’s designed to provide students in need with items like non-perishable food, personal hygiene products, and household items — all of which have been donated to the cupboard.
Jena Frommeyer, a Student Success Coach at the college, said the project came about in a “weirdly organic way.”
Haley Stammen, Student Resource Manager, asked if they had a program like it, then along with Tim Wiederhold, another Student Success Coach, they started to work on one.
They later discovered Campus Minister Nancy McCormick and Service and Civic Engagement Director Chip Murdock were working on something similar.
“So we just joined forces,” said Frommeyer.
McCormick stated, “It was a God thing.”
“The same message was being downloaded to us five,” added Murdock. “This idea had been floating around before. But I think that finally, it all hit us at the same time. That’s what made it feel organic and positive.”
The group also noticed an increase in students needing a few basic essentials.
“I think this year, more than ever, students stated they needed things,” said Wiederhold. “In a typical year, students have more opportunities for on-and off-campus jobs. But in a COVID year, it’s a little hard to find that extra income.”
The Quaker pantry officially opened on Oct. 7 and, since then, they have filled up and given 30 bags to students.
The way students can pick up get their items is by placing an order on the WC Student App and the Student Resource Center page on the College’s intranet site — WC@HOME. The group described it as like Kroger’s Clicklist.
They can also use QR codes featured on flyers in the residence halls and elsewhere on campus. Ordered items will be bagged and ready for pickup within 24 hours at the Robinson Communication Center (RCC 104).
Stammen recalled how grateful the students are to have this type of help on campus. She also advised that some of her student helpers wished they had something like that during their early college days.
Riley Gatlin, a junior year student and writing assistant, said, “I honestly wasn’t sure how much the service would be used by students, but in the last two or so weeks … I’ve already seen the need that it is filling for students.”
The group is also looking to the possibility of collecting coat donations for students to receive. And they’re also planning on continuing the Quaker Pantry even after the pandemic had ended.
Friends of the Quaker Cupboard program can drop off donations at the Student Resource Center, or to Chip Murdock, Director of the Center for Service and Civic Engagement and Office of Inclusion and Diversity, on the main floor of Pyle Student Center.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574