College students helping themselves.

The Big Blue Cupboard at University of Nebraska-Kearney (Photo Credit:

Imagine this. You’re in college, working a part-time job along with doing work from the six classes you’re taking. Your parents help pay for your tuition, but you pay for room and board which alone is all you can manage to afford without spending money on other things you need. By the time you get off work, the dining halls are either closed or you didn’t have enough money to buy a meal anyway. There would be no need to worry though, because you could simply go to a location on campus that has free food.

Sounds like a dream right? Students at the University of Nebraska-Kearney have made this dream a reality. An article from Nebraska Central News describes how students and members of the community have developed a program that provides food for students in need. The program is called The Big Blue Cupboard and exists due to donations from the community and students themselves. The Cupboard is located in the student union, and students can access it at any time during operational hours.

The article says the program is not meant to help with constant hunger. Monica Mueller, the UNK Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs describes it as providing those couple of meals that students are unable to eat throughout the week. The reason why some students are unable to eat vary from working late and coming home to closed dining halls, or the fact that they may not get paid at the end of the month and need some extra help.

I find this whole concept very interesting, and I wonder if many students there actually take advantage of it. The idea sounds great, but my problem with it is that I could see every student taking advantage of it, even ones who don’t need any help to get by. However, the fact that the community and the students themselves are willing to help one another is heartwarming. As I always find myself portraying the prime example of a broke college student, I would definitely take advantage of this.


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