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The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

How the Captain’s Cupboard is Combating Food Insecurity on Campus

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  • Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry

  • Cherie Gaume (Cupboard Staff) standing in the Cupboard Pantry

  • Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry Hours

  • Marie Callender from Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry

  • Nicholas Wells (Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry Staff and Biochem major)

  • Cherie Gaume (Cupboard Staff) sitting at her desk

  • Welch’s Jelly from Captain’s Cupboard Food Pantry.

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“I was shown the Captain’s Cupboard towards the end of my second semester as a freshman when I was here. It was a girl in the laundry room I was talking to, she told me about it because she said something about getting groceries from campus. And I was like, oh, where’s that from?” said Jahiem Williams a junior graphic design major.

The next day, Williams visited the Captain’s Cupboard and was surprised by the variety and availability of items, all free of charge.

“I was excited first time I used it because not only do they have food and stuff, but they also have products such as body wash and Tide Pods and stuff to wash my clothes,” said Williams. “So it definitely helped me save money because I never was the one that had a lot of money.”

Since his initial visit, the pantry has become a vital resource for Williams, especially as financial challenges arose.

“My sophomore year, stuff kind of went up and I wasn’t able to really afford a meal plan as much like that, or budget bucks. So I think the Captain’s Cupboard really helped me like kind of just get food when I need it and when I was hungry and stuff, like, you know canned food tuna and stuff like that, just be able to fix them and survive,” Williams reflected.

The combination of educational and living expenses can lead many college students into food insecurity, a hidden struggle potentially faced by the classmate sitting next to you. Amidst this reality, there is a beacon of support on the Armstrong campus: the Captain’s Cupboard.

The origins of the Captain’s Cupboard trace back to an anonymous donation made in 2015 to establish the Armstrong Emergency Food Resource Fund.

Before the campus consolidation, it was named in honor of the campus’s pirate mascot.

Cherie Gaume, administrative assistant in the Dean of Students Office and coordinator for the Captain’s Cupboard, highlighted their reliance on continued support.

“So student orgs, they do drives, and I have departments who have yearly drives that they provide food,” said Gaume. “I have individuals who bring food in—faculty, staff, and students. I have a staff member who has been part of our pantry for years, who is now collecting money from colleagues and other faculty members, and then he goes shopping and brings in the food.”

Gaume stated that a key goal of the Captain’s Cupboard is to eliminate the stigma associated with food insecurity in the Armstrong community.

“I’m providing knowledge of food insecurity, providing information on our cupboard and letting students know that we have this resource here on this campus and to give them more knowledge of you don’t have to feel ashamed that you don’t have money to buy food,” said Gaume.

“You can’t concentrate right? If you’re hungry and you’re trying to study for a test and you have no food I mean, that’s not what we want, how are you supposed to be successful in your studies, so we want to make sure that that part of their life is taken care of so that their concentration is on their studies.”

Breanni Henry, a senior psychology major who volunteers at the Captain’s Cupboard, expressed her desire for increased awareness about the prevalence of food insecurity.

“I wish they knew they weren’t alone and I wish people would be more mindful of that,” said Henry. “If they’re not food insecure that there are people who are food insecure and I would hope that they know there are resources, because I hadn’t been aware of this previously, and I think it would have helped me a lot.”

Williams noted the high cost of groceries as a barrier to regular shopping.

“My mom might be able to get me a couple bags of chicken nuggets and stuff like that with food stamps,” said Williams. “But it’s very rare, I probably say I get groceries maybe like once a month and it’s never really that much.”

After the consolidation, the Statesboro campus, without a food pantry, saw the Dean of Students Office establish the Eagle Essentials Food Pantry for its students, complementing the existing Captain’s Cupboard at Armstrong.

This semester alone, the Captain’s Cupboard received over 3,100 donated items.

Gaume added that students, faculty, and staff can volunteer at the pantry in two-hour shifts. Those interested in donating can contact her at or call the Armstrong Dean of Students Office at (912) 344-2514.

“I would like it to be a little bit more convenient for students to come and get their food. There are times when volunteers are not available, and I have to shut the pantry down,” said Gaume. “Sometimes that’s the only time that a student can come get food, so my vision is to go digital, similar to a Kroger pickup. They can order it, and we can get it ready, and then they can just come pick up the bag and leave.”

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About the Contributor
Jabari Gibbs
Jabari Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief, The Inkwell

An award-winning senior Communications major from Atlanta, Georgia, Jabari is passionate about bringing diverse perspectives to the news. He has been with The Inkwell since 2021 and has been Editor-in-Chief since the spring of 2022.

Jabari has led investigative pieces that have led to change and have been picked up by local publications. In addition to multiple individual awards, Jabari was selected as a 2023 Emma Bowden Fellow. He focuses on stories that bring to light the issues that matter most to students.

He oversees all aspects of the newspaper, including managing staff and making editorial decisions. As Editor-in-Chief, the Inkwell has tripled in size and increased the frequency of its digital newsletter, which averages over 6000 opens. The Inkwell has won several awards under his leadership, including best overall news coverage from the Georgia College Press Association and best print publication from the Southern Regional Press Institute.

He can be reached at if you have any tips!

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