'Jam the Van' event to help food pantries and food security resources for WWU students

There will be a “Jam the Van” food collection drive on Wednesday, Nov. 16, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Red Square as part of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. Help support Western students by bringing your non-expired, non-perishable food items and help fill the donation van with food to stock Western’s food pantries.   

Western has several on-campus food pantries that are open to all WWU students. They are partially supplied by Miracle Food Network (MFN), which is a non-profit organization based in Ferndale that collects surplus food from area grocery stores and restaurants daily. They then redistribute that food to various locations throughout the county.  

Western is partnering with MFN on a one-year pilot program to help keep Western’s food pantries stocked. MFN has a mission to reduce waste and food insecurity and expand opportunities for students. There are currently a number of food pantry locations at Western, including:  

  • Fairhaven College Pantry (Fairhaven 3rd floor by the main office) 

  • Journalism Department Pantry (near CF 257) 

  • CEED Food Pantry (Miller Hall 150) 

  • WHOLE Pantry (VU 435)  

  • Linguistics Department Food Pantry (BH 403) 

  • (Other departments also have food pantries for their student employees) 

Food security is an issue that many students at Western face. According to a fall 2021 survey of basic needs completed by 1,982 Western students, 44.7% of WWU students reported experiencing some degree of food insecurity in the past 30 days. In addition to the food pantries, there are also other food security programs at Western, including: 

  • Swipe Out Hunger, where students can request or donate meal swipes to use in the dining commons. https://housing.wwu.edu/soh 

  • The Outback Farm, which is a student-driven, 5-acre farm on south campus where a student can claim a garden plot and pick their own free food. https://fairhaven.wwu.edu/outback-farm 

  • Viking Supported Agriculture, allowing the WWU community to receive produce from Whatcom and Skagit farmers and also has a fund to donate to students in need. https://sustain.wwu.edu/vsa 

  • Miller Market accepts EBT cards for eligible purchases. Anyone can apply for Washington Basic Food or the Food Assistance Program (for eligible non-citizens) to potentially receive an EBT card at: https://www.washingtonconnection.org/home/  

You can earn more about basic needs resources and programs on the Basic Needs website, or by contacting the Office of Student Life at student.life@wwu.edu.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Event Date

"Jam the Van" food drive for WWU food pantries