Dozens of white plastic bags filled with food items and a table with drinks awaited employees and students of the University of Central Missouri who visited the Campus Cupboard this week under recently announced new hours.

The change in schedule is taking place to help ensure a vital need is met while also following procedures that will contribute to a safe and healthy environment amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Beth Rutt, director of student activities, said the Campus Cupboard plans to be open 3-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursdays throughout the rest of the school year to help individuals and families meet their food needs. It kicked off its new schedule March 25, and within the first 90 minutes it had served 92 students, enough to deplete the whole supply of pre-packaged food items for that day.

The Campus Cupboard opened its doors in October 2013. Through the generosity of private individuals, Harvesters food network, and local contributors, Walmart and ALDI grocery store, the campus distribution center serve about 500 individuals per month.


Rutt said individuals who arrived on Wednesday had access to pre-packaged bags of items that included soup and canned vegetables; chips, protein items such as plant-based burgers and chicken nuggets; bags of salad; hot dogs and buns; cookies and cupcakes.

Drinks also were available. Some items, however, are getting harder to obtain due to the current high demand. Pickup is on the east side of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center

“Tuesday is usually our bread day. We didn’t get anything,” Rutt said.

She encourages individuals who are interested in helping others to contribute to the Campus Cupboard, either through food donations or monetary contributions that will go to help purchase items for those in need. The center also has a current need for plastic bags it can use in pre-packaging.

Individuals who have questions or want to assist should call Rutt at 660-909-1870.

Photo 1: Ben Ong, left, a senior dietetics major from Malaysia, and Kevin Sneed, assistant director for intramural and club sports at the University of Central Missouri, helped collect pre-packaged bags of food that were made available by UCM’s Campus Cupboad March 25 to university students and employees in need.

Photo 2: Dani Wilcockson, a graduate assistant from Troy, Missouri who is majoring in kinesiology, gathers food items to be packaged and distributed by the Campus Cupboard, which is located in the University of Central Missouri Student Recreation and Wellness Center on March 25.

Photo 3: Poorvi Gawdee, left, a graduate student who lives in Kansas City, and Ben Ong, senior from Malaysia majoring in dietetics, assist with compiling pre-packaged food items to be shared with members of the University of Central Missouri campus who are in need.