CWI Food Pantry Heroes

Published: February 25, 2022

College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) food pantries are a vital source of support for our campus community. As our students may know, focusing on your studies while wondering where your next meal is coming from is difficult. In 2019, a CWI survey revealed that 40% of our students have experienced food insecurities, which negatively impacts student success.

The CWI food pantries are stocked on a volunteer basis, and for this reason, it is not always easy to keep them filled. Fortunately, ours is a generous community. A number of students, faculty, and staff have generously given from their hearts and their wallets to help ensure students have the food and hygiene items they need.

Recent CWI food pantry heroes include:

  • Courtney Santillan
    Dean of Social Sciences and Public Affairs
    At the beginning of Spring 2022 semester, Courtney donated $250 worth of food and hygiene goods to help us kick off the new year with full pantry shelves.
  • Jaime Barajas
    Assistant Director, Admissions and Recruitment
    Jaime’s family buys noodle cups and ramen each time they go grocery shopping and collect them in a box at home. Once the box is full, they donate it to a shelter. This past fall, they chose to donate to the CWI pantries.
  • Joe Welker
    Associate Professor, Accounting
    Joe holds food drives in his classes every semester. He and his students have donated many bags of goods to the pantries.
  • Steven Fairweather
    Security Guard, Canyon County Campus
    Steven and his wife watch for sales and regularly buy an extra case or two of canned goods to share with CWI students.
  • Kory Sparks
    CWI Graduate, Professional Nursing
    Last semester, Kory was looking to complete a community health project assignment for one of her nursing classes at Boise State. Lucky for us, she decided to partner with CWI’s Student Nurses Association to coordinate a food donation competition between the two nursing cohorts, faculty, and staff. The competition resulted in close to 500+ food and hygiene items for our pantries.
  • Stephanie Ritchie Breach
    Former CWI faculty and Faculty Senate President
    During the holiday season, Stephanie and her family created and donated approximately 100 hygiene kits filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving products, soap, and shampoo.

We want to shout a loud and grateful THANK YOU to these members of our CWI comfood on pantry shelvesmunity and many others who privately add items to the pantry shelves, care about our students, and help where they can. Your donations do not go unnoticed, and we appreciate you!

Those wishing to donate to the CWI food pantries, please do! Grab-and-go lunch items and snacks are the most utilized items. Canned vegetables, pastas, sauces, and other items a person might take home to make a meal do not move as quickly through our pantries. Please be sure to check expiration dates on donated items.

The College is actively seeking local businesses and organizations who might want to sponsor the pantries for a month. If you know of a potential sponsor, please contact Christy Babcock in Counseling and Wellness Services at or 208.562.2371.

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