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Grand Opening of New Corky’s Cupboard Space Celebrates 10 Years of Service to ESU Students

A room with shelves and refrigerators filled with donated food items.

The Emporia and campus community is invited to the official unveiling of the expanded Corky’s Cupboard. The event begins at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the new space on the lower level of the Memorial Union, 1331 Market St.

The expanded space is a fitting way to also mark nearly 10 years of serving Emporia State University students with a dedicated food pantry. Corky’s Cupboard opened in November 2014 in a former meeting room in the Center for Student Involvement.

During fall 2023, University Facilities took a much larger space in the lower level of the Memorial Union and renovated it to the new Corky’s Cupboard, which includes additional refrigerators and freezers for milk, eggs, fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits and frozen entrees, plus shelf space for nonperishable products. The cupboard also has expanded beyond food over the years, and now carries school supplies, toiletries and cleaning products.

Data proves the need for Corky’s Cupboard on the ESU campus. During the 2022-23 academic year, 532 individual students visited the cupboard 5,289 times.

“Corky’s Cupboard was the vision of a former student body president who discovered a fellow student who was active in classes and student groups abruptly left ESU because they couldn’t afford food,” recalled Dr. Nyk Robertson, senior diversity officer and assistant dean. “Now the cupboard is the centerpiece of a broader set of services designed to meet a variety of basic needs for students.”

Every fall, Can the Bods, a food-drive competition with Washburn University, fills the shelves of Corky’s Cupboard, which also relies on donations from the campus and Emporia communities as well as ESU supporters. Donations can be made any time through the ESU Foundation:

The grand opening on Feb. 16 is a come-and-go event with a short program at the beginning. Off-campus attendees should enter the Memorial Union at the east entrance. Walk west through the first floor and use the stairs and elevator that are across from the MU Bookstore to go down one floor.