Campus Life

UCBA Academic Advisor with a Passion for Helping Students Maintains a Food Pantry


Cathy Willoughby, an academic advisor at the college, maintains a food pantry, and accept donations of appropriate donations at the Academic Advising Center during our hours of operation, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

As I’m sitting in the academic office waiting for Cathy Willoughby to come in for our interview, I began looking around her environment and saw students in and out of the office. Willoughby has been a senior advisor to many students here at UCBA for years, and she loves the works does. She has also been the facilitator of the CPAS program, which stands for College Program for Academic Success, for about five years now. These are examples of how dedicated Willoughby is to student success. She calls me to her office in the back of the academic office, and once in her little habitat, I see she has a room full of pictures of family members. She had loads of pictures of her grandchildren; one of them was her new grandson named Ocean, who was eight months old. 

Sitting in her cozy, welcoming environment, I felt happy to be there, knowing that she has a passion for helping people. At the beginning of each semester, she sends out an email to all UCBA faculty and staff, letting them know about donating food. She also has picnics throughout the year, where faculty members and staff can donate to the pantry.

Willoughby said, “I learned about other colleges having a food pantry room and decided to take a proactive approach and expand the food pantry here at the campus.” She said, “The food pantry was created about five years ago for students who need food.” She would like to help more students by expanding the pantry they currently have here at the school. She told me the pantry’s located in the academic advising office in two storage drawers.

The front table has a basket of goodies for anyone who needs food throughout the day can grab. The welcoming basket is filled with foods like microwavable oatmeal, to-go tuna and crackers, and granola bars, to name a few. The food donations come from UCBA staff and faculty members. Willoughby wants to expand the pantry by creating a room for it so students can have more food and accessibility too. Creating a designated location so students can go there whenever they need food is essential. Willoughby said, “We all know that a hungry student has difficulty learning, so our food pantry was established to help students with an immediate need, while also referring them to resources close to their home.”  

If any UCBA staff or faculty member would like to donate to the food pantry, here’s how you can help. The food pantry accepts non-perishable foods that students can grab and eat. The idea is that the items are easy to access, cook, and eat. Also, it must be stored at room temperature (They don’t have refrigeration). They also do not take standard “canned goods” that you may donate to a food drive, and please, no expired products. 

Here’s a list of examples:

  • Granola or snack bars
  • Pasta cups or bowls
  • Microwavable dinners, such as the Hormel Compleats
  • Peanut butter single-serve cups
  • Soups (please make sure that theyhave a pop-top lid) 
  • Fruit cups or snacks
  • Breakfast cereals or Pop-Tarts
  • Tuna or canned chicken with crackers
  • Cup of noodles

About Dontanya Coffey

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