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UW-La Crosse opens summer food drive

Kaitlyn Riley

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UW-La Crosse’s campus may have closed because of COVID-19, but there are still students in need.

UW-La Crosse asked for the community’s help restocking the campus food pantry after an initial food drive this spring brought in thousands of much-needed items and monetary donations.

Kelsi Grubisich, civic engagement/leadership coordinator, said about 15 students order food from the campus pantry each week.

“We’re definitely still seeing quite a few students each week coming in throughout the summer,” Grubisich said. “We don’t normally have food drives throughout the summer, but we had faculty and staff reaching out and asking how they could support.”

Members of the campus and the community can bring nonperishable food items or monetary donations to the Whitney Center parking lot (at the intersection of Badger and 14th streets) from Tuesday, June 16 to Thursday, June 18. The parking lot will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The food pantry is in need of a variety of items, including canned goods and boxed meals, cereal and granola bars, and personal care items such as soap, toothpaste and toilet paper.

During a 10-day food drive in April, the pantry received nearly 4,000 food items and more than $1,600 in monetary donations. That was enough to fill the university’s satellite food pantry in the Whitney Center, supporting students and staff members in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We really appreciate all of the support we get from both our campus community and the La Crosse community,” Grubisich said.

While the pantry is closed during the summer, students and staff can place orders by completing a form on the pantry’s website.

Orders can be picked up on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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