The goal to start an on-campus food pantry will soon become a reality for the Student Government Association.
When the executive slate of SGA, Cardinal Connection, ran last semester, one of their platform points was to organize a food pantry with Second Harvest Food Bank.
Senior and former SGA senator Jes Wade was appointed secretary of service for SGA by President Nick Wilkey at an SGA meeting last month.
One of her responsibilities is to oversee the start of the food bank, which has been named “Cardinal Kitchen” and will open Jan. 7.
“My passion for Ball State came into play when naming the pantry,” Wade said.
She wanted to have the name closely related to Ball State; however, she said this is not a university-sponsored program.
Instead of partnering with Second Harvest, Wade said the kitchen will operate independently, and she hopes the kitchen will get donations and sponsorships.
Wilkey said it would have cost too much for SGA to partner with Second Harvest.
“It was a long process and it was just not the direction we wanted to go for,” Wilkey said.
There is $2,500 allocated for the establishment of the food pantry, according to the SGA budget.
Wade said the budget will be used for necessary items that do not get donated.
She hopes that Cardinal Kitchen will become a nonprofit organization and give businesses an incentive to buy into the student run pantry.
Wade and her team have been in contact with 18 Ball State organizations and said many of them are holding item drives to help stock the shelves.
“It’s amazing to see our students backing this project,” she said.
The Cardinal Kitchen will be on the second floor of the Multicultural Center, which is located at 325 N. McKinley Ave.
Wade and her team are in the process of determining how the kitchen will run.
One possibility is having a desk at the front door where students can fill out a form of what they need and someone will be upstairs bagging those items. Another idea is to have students fill out an online form and pick up their items, she said. A last option is to have students go upstairs to the pantry.
“We want the pantry to be accessible to all students,” Wade said.
Students can get involved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org