Rams Against Hunger: An Initiative to battle food insecurity at CSU!

In recent years, the conversation around food and housing insecurity experienced on college campuses has grown sharply. The reality of the issue goes well beyond the old image of college students relying on peanut butter and ramen though.  The rising costs of college today means true food and housing insecurity for far too many students.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University, 39% of student respondents indicated being food-insecure.  This data comes from over 167,000 students from 227 colleges in 44 states. CSU participated in this survey as well and regrettably our numbers are not much different, with 32% of respondents experiencing food insecurity in the previous 30 days.  The issue, however, is not being ignored by the many campus partners who make up CSU’s Rams Against Hunger team.

Spearheaded by Dr. Jen Johnson and the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE), Rams Against Hunger has collaborated across campus to build a menu of services that support students experiencing food insecurity. Services include a monthly mobile food pantry, a meal-swipe program, pocket pantries, a food recovery program and in-person assistance with navigating federal aid eligibility.  This multi-pronged approach acknowledges the broad scope of the issue and seeks to normalize this difficult conversation for the individuals affected, as well as for the institution.  Our hope in providing these services is to let the students know that their basic needs cannot be overlooked at the expense of their degree.  By reducing the stigma around food insecurity and meeting student needs in a way that affirms dignity, we hope to live out the creed that Rams really do take care of Rams.

 

Michael Buttram
Program Coordinator – Community Engagement
Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLICE)
michael.buttram@colostate.edu  (970) 219-7165