Food Insecurity Programs

  • 1.  Food Insecurity Programs

    Posted 11-05-2019 14:48
    I'm seeing a growing number of colleges/universities and partners creating dining programs to combat food insecurity amongst students.

    What kinds of food insecurity programs do you know about or have implemented at your institution? How long has it been implemented, and what kinds of results/feedback are people seeing? I'd love any feedback on the topic.

    Sarah Murphy
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Communications Manager
    Richmond VA
    United States

  • 2.  RE: Food Insecurity Programs

    Posted 11-06-2019 12:42
    We started a program similar to some other universities this fall (August 2019) at the request of our president. A volunteer committee had formed the year prior to address food waste and he brought our division (Auxiliary Services) in to get the program developed and launched. We are calling it Toreros Against Hunger and it has 3 components involving decreasing food waste; via a food recovery text program that alerts students of leftovers from catered events, via donations of unprocessed food to a local charity, and the use of our biohitech digester for remaining scraps. Food waste and food insecurity are both very hot topics on our campus. We are doing the food recovery portion as a pilot program and it has been a bit of a struggle with an array of 'opinions' from staff/admins etc - however the students who have participated are quite pleased.

    We have done 8-10 food alerts since September and all remaining food has been taken by students each time. We revised our catering menu and portions this summer to continue to decrease the amount of food waste that occurs and that has had a good impact too. Our goal is not to provide an alternate venue to feed students but to continually work on decreasing the waste to begin with while ensuring any remaining edible food is eaten or disposed of sustainably and not sent to a landfill. There are additional campus waste initiatives happening at this time that we hope will result in additional equipment to properly either digest or compost all campus scraps (not just those generated via dining and catering). Currently, most of the food leftover that is donated to the food recovery program is from catered events hosted by campus departments and some from our sit down restaurant buffets. More info:

    University of San Diego
    Marketing Director
    United States