By. Adolfo Blanco
During the college semester, many students relied on Cats Cupboard to give them basic supplies such as food and hygienic products. For the students of K-State's resource center- which houses the university’s LGBTQ+ community- they recognize the growing need for supplies and banded together to help support the Cupboard’s needs.
K-State's Resource Center’s Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) has come together to support the Cats Cupboard. By participating in the Growing Wellness Program, they have offered support and supplies.
Student Services Coordinator of Student Belonging and Inclusion, Brandon Haddock, in an email that the “Growing Wellness is a program that started out as an idea to help create more enjoyable and healthy living spaces.”
Haddock commented that this program was first conceived after the events of COVID. With many students and staff having suffered from the effects, the Growing Wellness program has dedicated its knowledge to promoting the effects of plants, wellness activities, and food for personal health both physically and mentally.
“This is a great opportunity for the Spectrum Center and oSTEM to give back to our community and provide CC with a fun treat available to patrons for the Halloween season,” said Haddock.
Cecilia Davila Vasquez, an undergraduate working for Haddock, was approached by the coordinator and asked to think about what events and treats could be given to Cats Cupboard. Her idea was to gather up the members of oSTEM and create bags of food and recipes that are nutritious and fun to make.
“I kind of just sat down and just, whatever came to my mind, just like, OK, stuff that was possible to do... It's just like kind of connecting it to part of mental wellness. Keeping yourself fed and not only just like nutritious food, like it's also important for you to give yourself treats.” said Vasquez.
oSTEM has earned gratitude from many students, as college costs and living expenses add to their stress. Dallas Hopper, a student, mentioned how Cats Cupboard and oSTEM benefit him greatly.
“Financial situations have been tough with college and all that, but it really does help financially, so I would prefer it to any other grocery shopping,” said Hopper. “Since Manhattan is more of a college town, I feel like that's (oSTEM) a good thing to have here. I feel like other college cities and other college campuses should have something similar because it can help a lot of people who need that sort of thing.”
Shelly Williams, Director of Cats Cupboard, in an email expressed thankfulness towards oSTEM and wished to tell the university that they are always happy to receive donations and support from the campus community. She has asked that anyone wishing to donate can visit the Cats Cupboard site for a list of items needed.