Cobber Food Pantry Annual Report 2021-22

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2021-22 AT A GLANCE

Meal Kits and Snack Shelf: In June 2021, a snack shelf was installed, providing students with a quick snack option. Meal kits were assembled and distributed in July. Each kit included a variety of ingredients including items for pasta dishes, vegetable sides, and chocolate cake.

12,268 lb of food distributed to students 300 volunteer hours

Winter Break Meal Distribution: Great Plains Food Bank and Pontoppidan Lutheran Church partnered with the food pantry to provide 25 food boxes to Concordia students who were staying over the winter break. Food Rescue Initiatives: Great Plains Food Bank provided the pantry with food rescue items that would otherwise be wasted. These items included fresh produce, meat, bread, and deli items. The items were gathered from local grocery stores. Volunteer Expansion: This year alone, the pantry had 35 volunteers, both students and staff. Volunteering is essential to the function of the pantry, from stocking, unloading boxes, and staffing it during open hours. Joan Kopperud, professor emerita of English, regularly volunteered and is an important part of the infrastructure of the pantry. Kopperud has helped write grants, represents Concordia on the Cass Clay Food Commission, and helps with educational efforts linking the food pantry to faculty partners/projects. Kitchen Supplies Pop-Up Event: Lack of access to kitchen supplies can be a barrier for food insecure students. In collaboration with the Sustainability and Global Learning offices, the Cobber Food Pantry hosted an event to get kitchen items into the hands of students who needed them. Student Staff With the financial support received, the pantry was able to employ its first student staff member. Chelsea Masikati ’23 worked regular hours throughout the summer and school year, enabling the pantry to reach more students and enhance the overall services.




students served

visits by those students

(172 served in 2020-21)

(779 visits in 2020-21)

DONATIONS 2,323 lb

food donated from campus/community members/food drives

11,171 lb

Race Demographics 21% Domestic Students of Color


food received from Great Plains Food Bank including food rescue

53% 37% International White Students

42% White Students

Gender Identity 37% of all food pantry users self-identify as LGBTQIA+

financial contributions

Year in School 16% Fourth Year 20% Third Year

24% First Year

40% Second Year

Socioeconomic Status 70% of all food pantry users self-identify with at least one measure of low socioeconomic status

HIGHLIGHTS Launched a Comprehensive Basic Needs Survey In November 2021, a comprehensive basic needs survey was administered to all Concordia students with 46% of Cobbers completing the survey. While it was designed to collect important information on the current status of students’ basic needs, it also served as an outreach tool. For those students who opted in, they were able to indicate in the survey what help they needed and the appropriate college staff member responded. On and off campus resources were provided to 132 unique students who requested outreach from the survey. The survey measured basic needs around the following areas: food, personal items (hygiene, weather-appropriate clothing), housing, technology, transportation, emergency financial support, health care, mental health support, and belonging. This has been an invaluable bank of research as Concordia continues to expand support for students’ basic needs. Received an AmeriCorps VISTA grant to focus on basic needs support for Concordia students As a result of the Basic Needs Survey data and unmet needs, Concordia applied for and received an AmeriCorps VISTA award. This award matches an individual through AmeriCorps to work at Concordia as a basic needs coordinator starting in fall 2022. Part of the coordinator’s responsibilities will be to enhance food pantry volunteer initiatives, expand education programs, and ensure continued access to fresh food for students.

ETHNIC FOOD AVAILABILITY “Shifting to a focus on basic needs after the success of the Winter Clothing Drive, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commission (DEIC) decided to use some of its budget to purchase ethnic food from local markets (La Unica and the Asian & American Market) to donate to the pantry. Receiving immensely positive feedback and food requests after the first try, DEIC decided to continue donations on a weekly basis. Items typically purchased included spices (tajin and cumin), sauces (Valentina, kimchi), snacks, ramen, frozen meals (Dhokla, Paneer Makhani), and drinks (Mogu Mogu coconut water) – items that would be easy to make in a dorm or after a long day of classes. The ramen bowls were the most popular – ranging in different flavors, styles, and countries of origin. DEIC wanted all students to see foods from home on the pantry shelves.” – Elijah Amelse, advisor to DEIC (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission) comments on DEIC’s partnership with the food pantry.

901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562 Parke Student Leadership Center IG: @CobberFoodPantry


Reached students with dietary restrictions using financial donations Because of generous financial donations, pantry staff were able to source food for students with special dietary needs such as glutenfree or low-glycemic. One student specifically lacked resources to prepare a very special diet due to a new medical diagnosis, and with creative thinking pantry staff worked with the student to secure the appropriate kitchen supplies.