Clyde’s Cupboard celebrates 10 years

Clyde’s Cupboard has been combating food insecurity and acting as a vital resource for students for over a decade.

What started as an Anthropology class project has turned into a multi-program food pantry that has helped feed thousands of students over the past decade. It’s completely donation based, non-need based and provides free food and toiletries for all UCCS students. This past fall semester alone, Clyde’s Cupboard had 2,613 visits.

Clyde’s Cupboard began in spring 2013 with the goal of building community while addressing food insecurity. By the next year, it was officially administratively supported by the Office of the Dean of Students and allocated student employees from Student Life.

The project kept growing, in large part thanks to the Student Government Association (SGA). In 2016, SGA approved specific funding for the first Clyde’s Cupboard student employee. With their efforts and continued support, the Cupboard has been able to expand in size, reach and available locations. In addition to the Main Pantry located in the Student Life Lounge, there is a Satellite Pantry in the Recreation & Wellness Center.

There have also been several accompanying programs implemented by Student Life in the past ten years, such as Fresh Food Fridays where students can obtain perishable items like fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy every other Friday from the Main Pantry. There’s a Mountain Lion Meal program during fall and spring semesters in which up to 40 students are provided three meals per week at certain dining halls, and once per semester they hold a Grocery Gift Card giveaway that provides 40 students with a $50 gift card to Trader Joe’s or King Soopers.

“With the support of the UCCS community over the years, Clyde’s Cupboard has grown from a couple of cabinets stocked with food to a multifaceted program addressing hunger on the UCCS campus,” said Amber Gilson, Basic Needs Coordinator.

Studies show that food insecurity affects a significant portion of college students, and according to the most recent NCHA survey, 48.9% of UCCS students reported experiencing food insecurity.

Students have expressed their gratitude for Clyde’s Cupboard and how it’s helped them.

“I have been able to have more ease of mind regarding the cost of groceries and used those funds towards my education,” said one student. “I have been able to uplift my mood by eating food from the cupboard. I have also had great conversations with the people who are at the desk.”

“The aspect of not having to qualify or apply makes the cupboard so much better because it takes any embarrassment out of the equation because anyone and everyone is using it,” shared another.

These testimonials illustrate how resources like Clyde’s Cupboard are vital for all facets of student health.

“I walked out with a bag that allowed me to have a complete meal,” noted a student. “It was a relief, mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

“I knew that no matter what, I wouldn’t be without food.”

If you’d like to contribute to Clyde’s Cupboard and help the organization continue to fight food insecurity, read about what to donate on their page or make a financial gift to their fund.