Shocker Support Locker is open through the summer


Daniel Caudill

Stacks of soup cans line one of the shelves in the Shocker Support Locker. Besides non-perishable food items, the pantry also offers hygiene products, clothing and textbooks.

While most students are on break, Wichita State University’s community food pantry will be open through the summer.

Started in 2015 by Student Government Association, the Shocker Support Locker provides more than just non-perishable food items. Students, faculty and staff can also take hygiene products, clothing and textbooks from the pantry.

Each person is allowed 15 food items and 10 hygiene items per week. Students can take two textbooks per semester, including the summer. Students who use the locker should bring their Shocker ID to prove enrollment.

The locker, located in 103 Grace Wilkie Hall, will be open in the summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, excluding days when campus is closed. Those who wish to donate should bring items directly to the locker.

Graduate Haley Ensz and student Daniel Chikwendu are managing the locker over the summer. Other students can help manage the locker by volunteering.

Daniel Caudill
Daniel Chikwendu and Haley Ensz will manage the Shocker Support Locker over the summer.

Despite less activity on campus, Ensz and Chikwendu said the locker is still seeing steady use.

“Especially [Monday] because classes started,” Ensz said. “There were like 26 people that came in and used it, so that was quite a bit.”

Ensz said the locker is in need of clothing items that are not usually donated secondhand, such as socks and underwear.

“[They are] essential but not anything people usually give away in donation drives,” she said.

Because those items are small in size, they would be held at the locker. Other clothing items are currently being held at a different location due to a lack of space. 

Members of the 58th SGA session formed the locker following a Qualtrics survey of 100 WSU students. One in three domestic students who responded to the survey admitted to skipping a meal because they could not afford to eat. That rate was double for international students.

Having worked at the locker throughout the 2018-2019 school year, Chikwendu said the locker continues to serve an important role in fighting hunger on campus.

“Sometimes people just come to take snacks for the day, but then you come in and you see people who pick certain things, like pasta, pasta sauce, and seasoning,” he said. “You see that they’re trying to make a meal out of what they find in the locker, and that makes sense.”

Along with individual donations, the locker’s inventory is supported by regular donations from businesses and on-campus organizations like Dillons, Chartwell, and the Child Development Center.

An international student from Nigeria, Chikwendu said he used the locker when he first came to campus in summer 2016.

“I hadn’t completely set up my account yet and I hadn’t gotten a job, so it was really beneficial to just get something I needed,” he said.

For questions about the locker, contact [email protected].