The Cupboard is a resource on campus for students in need. As of late, it has faced the complication of running out of resources too quickly. The Concierge Desk, which is in charge of The Cupboard, underwent changes in how they run the operation.
Nicole Monahan, the director of Student Support Resources, laid out the conflict at hand, which has impacted how much inventory The Cupboard has.
“What we have witnessed with The Cupboard is that there is an increase in demand and decrease in supplies that we can purchase. This has impacted the supplies we can provide our students and directed us to make operational changes as well as educate the community about the resource and how to use it responsibly,” said Monahan.
Monahan emphasizes keeping the longevity and sustainability of The Cupboard.
“The goal is to make sure it is a sustainable resource for all community members moving forward,” said Monahan. “To do that, it has become evident we need to implement operational changes…I would like to ensure that any changes lead to [the] sustainability of The Cupboard and meet the needs of our students.”
Concierge Desk manager, Kayla Torres (’24), has been working on The Cupboard all year, knowing that there needed to be changes.
“We at first wanted to give everybody what they wanted, because who doesn’t like the opportunity to use a free resource?” said Torres. “But in doing that, it kind of turned into not being able to give everybody what they needed.”
Difficulties arose when items were quickly running out of stock. To prevent a shortage of high-demand products, the Concierge Desk came up with a plan to provide more access to those products.
“We’re implementing a one-to-two item limit,” said Torres. “Let’s say someone wants [a box of] pasta, they can take up to two boxes of products.”
To keep essential items in stock, such as eggs and milk, there will be a limit of one item per unit to ensure everyone has a chance to take home such necessities.
Originally, students had access to The Cupboard through their student IDs. Now, there are student workers on sight at all times to allow students into the pantry. While there is a worker standing outside, students have privacy when entering The Cupboard.
The Cupboard will have hours of operation to give everyone a chance to stop by. Their hours are every Monday through Friday from 9am-1pm and 3-7pm. In between those times, student employees undertake housekeeping.
“We have time in between for someone to go in and kind of clean up the space and make sure it looks nice for when the new people come in,” said Torres.
At the front of the Concierge Desk, there is a flyer with a link to a survey for students to take. It allows students to be heard about what they need from The Cupboard.
“Their voices let us know what they need so that we are able to order those things,” said Torres.
Torres is passionate about the cause and hopes that The Cupboard could expand one day so more resources can be available to students. “Maybe we could get toiletries or stuff like that…to be able to get all the things people need,” said Torres.
She also hopes that people will be able to help with The Cupboard. The Concierge Desk accepts donations for the pantry. They do not take money.
“We’re taking a risk, we’re changing up things and we just hope that by doing this, we’re able to give what everyone would need out of this space,” said Torres.
Any questions, thoughts, or concerns can be brought to the Concierge Desk in the Student Center or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.