How can I donate to the Invisible Need Project?
Monetary donations can be given online HERE. Checks should be mailed to: Western Michigan University c/o WMU Foundation, Invisible Need Project, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5403. Donors should indicate the fund name (i.e. Food Pantry, Student Emergency Relief Fund, etc.) somewhere on their check.
Item donations can be dropped off at the pantry during open hours at the side door, to the left of the main entrance. See our Support INP page for helpful details.
Why are monetary donations preferred?
Monetary donations given to the General INP Fund allow for the INP Committee the flexibility to use funds in a variety of ways that best serve students' ever-changing needs. Specifically for the pantry, based on the partnership with the South Michigan Food Bank, the Invisible Need Project is able to purchase food at greatly reduced costs, sometimes as low as $0.20 per pound!
Where is the Invisible Need Project Food Pantry located?
The pantry is located in the lower level, rear of Faunce Student Services, near Seita Scholars, WIDR & Western Herald. Our main doors are painted gold, and face Kohrman Hall.
Does the Food Pantry accept expired items?
No, the Invisible Need Project follows guidelines set by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), available on the FoodSafety.gov website, and disposes of any expired items received as a donation. Items are able to be safely kept and distributed to students past the "Best By" or similar date(s), and INP uses the FoodKeeper App to determine what time frame is appropriate for each pantry item, whether donated or purchased.
Why can students only visit the pantry once every two weeks?
The Invisible Need Project cannot be used as a sole food source for students. Based on Federal Financial Aid guidelines, if it were a sole food source, the "cost" of the bag of groceries would need to be reported to WMU Financial Aid, and recorded on the student's account, similar to a Student Emergency Relief Fund award, which could have an impact on that student's future financial aid options.