Amber C, Feeding Western Coordinator ; AmeriCorps VISTA
Feeding Western works to alleviate hunger and food insecurity on campus by providing greater access to food resources and a non-judgmental environment
Feeding Western’s Values
- All people deserve equitable access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food.
- All programs, functions, and services provided by the Feeding Western Program must balance the pillars of sustainability, protecting local and global ecology, upholding social equity, creating economic vitality, and maintaining human health.
- Respect, dignity, and quality of service are top priority
In 2017, students successfully collaborated with Western’s Office of Survey Research to produce data that confirmed the prevalence of food insecurity among Western Students. This was the first time that data about the issue of food security has been collected on Western’s campus, and the results confirmed the need for a university-level response. Some of the more startling findings of the survey highlight the variety of disparities in the experiences of food-insecure students:
- 8.6% of undergrad students classified as having very-low food security;
- 15.6% of undergrad students have experience involuntary weight loss due to a lack of food;
- Students classified as very-low food secure have a reduced GPA, on average, of .449 when compare to their food-secure peers;
- Students classified as having very-low food security see a 6% reduction in reenrollment rates when compared to their food-secure peers;
- 57% of college students eligible to receive SNAP are not accessing the resource.
Note that due to the design of the survey, administered only to second-year and graduating students, there may be students severely impacted by food insecurity who have dropped out of college before they were able to participate in the survey. Students from low-income backgrounds and those from marginalized identities are disproportionally impacted by food insecurity. Feeding Western is working with campus and community partners to bring an end to student food-insecurity.
Links to Data