Cougs Feeding Cougs short funding

Program distributed around $121,000 to students in two years, but needs $170,000



Craig Howard, the Director of Administrative Services Information Services at WSU, goes into detail on how the Cougs Feeding Cougs system works Wednesday afternoon in the Streit-Perham offices.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Cougs Feeding Cougs is a program designed to help fight food insecurity at WSU.

Craig Howard, director of information systems and the CougarCard Center, said food insecurity is when people do not know where their next meal is going to come from.

“We know there is demand going unmet, and where are those students eating when the demand goes unmet?” he said.

Howard said there is a lot of money coming into the program, but it never matches the amount going out.

Based on analysis and estimations the program has done, Cougs Feeding Cougs needs around $170,000 a year to meet the food insecurity needs at WSU, Howard said. In just over two years since the program has been started, they have distributed $121,000.

Howard said through Cougs Feeding Cougs, students request money from the program, and they will receive $10 if there is enough money in the program.

At the start of the day on Wednesday, the balance of Cougs Feeding Cougs was $14, he said. As the day went on, the number rose to more than $500.

Howard said that is not unusual. The balance is dependent primarily on donations, so it tends to fluctuate from day to day.

“We do not have a funding stream that is large enough to meet the demand for our students who have food insecurity,” he said.

Howard said they get a fair number of donations at the end of the fall and spring semesters from leftover RDA funds.

“Right now, it is actually kind of encouraging because we see this stream of money coming from RDA customers who are donating, but that stream is not present the entire year,” he said.

Howard said a recent survey stated that 38 percent of college students nationwide suffer from food insecurity. If that number is applied to WSU, it would mean more than 6,000 students would suffer from some degree of food insecurity.

Howard said he encourages people to consider donating to Cougs Feeding Cougs. He said they should give what they can, when they can.

“We talk about Cougs helping Cougs. This is Cougs Feeding Cougs,” Howard said. “Cougs are a pretty tight-knit community stretching across the globe.”