Campus News

McBurney Center partners with Division of Student Life to increase food pantry donations

Many students who receive services from the McBurney Disability Resource Center require the use of laptops in class, which can lead to a lack of privacy in a class that does not allow the use of technology.  

Image By: Betsy Osterberger-Cardinal File Photo

As the holiday season continues, the reality of food insecurity in Madison is more prevalent than ever. This year, the McBurney Disability Resource Center decided to do something about it — they challenged the nine departments within the Division of Student Life to a friendly competition aimed at increasing donations to the Open Seat Food Pantry.

Internal Director Rachel Daniels worked with Ginny Divine and Kris Wurgler, two real-time captioners for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students, to create the competition. Daniels hopes the competition will “help increase donations right before the holidays, which is perfect timing.”

The nine participating departments within the Division of Student Life will contribute to large bins located in their respective offices. The bins, which were designed by the Wisconsin School of Business, will be accounted for on a daily basis as each department tracks their donation weight daily.

In addition to the Division of Student Life’s help, Daniels released an open call for help among UW-Madison’s Greek organizations, receiving the biggest response from Sigma Alpha Omega, a female Christian sorority. Sigma Alpha Omega volunteers will assist Open Seat in gathering donated goods throughout the week.

According to UW-Madison officials, 20 percent of students attending four-year universities remain food insecure in this country. The Open Seat combats this staggering statistic by offering access to nonperishable foods, produce and canned goods to any UW-Madison student with a valid Wiscard.

Open Seat does not perform financial checks of any kind, a policy that has allowed more than 500 people to be served during this semester alone.

At the end of this week, Open Seat hopes to receive donations in large quantities to help as many community members as possible.

“While we have quantity in mind, our main hope is to bring awareness and enough donations to the food pantry so that no one has to go hungry this holiday season,” Divine said.

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