Women’s Center to move into Williamson House


Cassie Pegg-Kirby, assistant director of the Women’s Center, shows off the food pantry at the Women’s Center on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Austin Farber

The food pantry at the Kent State Women’s Center hopes to increase its impact by moving from the Carriage House into the Williamson House this summer.

With a new, larger space available, the pantry hopes to begin filling its barren shelves with donations from expiring meal plans.

“The pantry is currently pretty small,” said Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, assistant director of the Women’s Center. “We have all non-perishable food. Any student … can come fill up a bag with food from the pantry. Over the past couple of years we have—(on) average—around 100 visits. Typically it’s about 50 or 60 people (who) use the pantry a semester.”

Food is a cost that students in search of a higher education should not have to worry about.

“(The food pantry is) not meant to be a system for people to get all their food from,” Pegg-Kirby said. “It’s more for students who had an extra bill to pay this month or are running low on their meal plan. If we have the food, we won’t turn people away. But it is here to serve as (many) people as we can.”

Jose Calderon, a sophomore accounting major, believes the food pantry’s expansion is a good idea.

“It’s great the pantry is getting a larger space,” Calderon said. “I went in last year to bring in some food and they only had a couple shelves available.”

The new space at the Women’s Center will allow for additional initiatives to be based in the larger building.

“We’re gonna have one of those free libraries,” Pegg-Kirby said. “It’s only a shelf, but it will be a place where people (can) put books when they’re done reading it and pick up a new one.”

This mentality of a sharing community is one Pegg-Kirby hopes the expansion of services offered at the Women’s Center with continue to promote.

Across the hall from the new pantry will also be feminine products drive. Female students unable to pay the increasing cost of feminine products will be able to receive free pads and tampons at the Women’s Center.

“Feminine products are definitely a necessity,” said Anna Hofer, a senior hospitality management major. “Every girl has to have them and they are somewhat expensive. If I was unable to buy those, I don’t know how I would be able to focus on school.”

Additionally, the Women’s Center will be able to have a permanent diaper drive in the new space, which will also be located across from the food pantry. These services will help lessen the stress that student parents have to deal with.

The Women’s Center will move to the Williamson House following the spring semester, on May 20.

Austin Farber is a social services reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].