Challah for Hunger brings people together to bake and sell challah to raise money and awareness for social justice.

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Challah News

From Cooking to Advocacy on Campus

Arielle Pearlman is a senior at Colgate University, graduating in May with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. She is a board member of Challah for Hunger at Colgate and serves on of the Student Planning Team for the Campus Hunger Project.

“Until the past few years, the problem of college students experiencing hunger and food insecurity received little attention and was under-researched. Coming from a private liberal arts college, this type of hyper-local hunger was never really on my radar.”

She reflected on her experience on The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation blog. You can read her full piece here. 

 

Statement on Rise in Food Insecurity on College Campuses

Today at a town hall held at George Washington University, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees released their latest survey on food insecurity among college and university students. In response to these recent findings and to the February 23rd letter to the Government Accountability Office from Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Patty Murray and Senator Edward Markey requesting a more comprehensive assessment of this issue by the Government Accountability Office, we issue the following statement:

We are alarmed by recent findings that as many as two in three community college students[1] and nearly one-fifth of students at four-year schools are experiencing food insecurity[2]. As an organization that works directly with college students to address hunger nationally and locally, we believe that no one should have to sacrifice food for an education.

In response to these startling statistics, we developed the Campus Hunger Project. In partnership with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, we are training student advocates on nearly 40 public and private colleges and universities to research food insecurity at their schools and educate their peers about this issue.

Today we sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), supporting the senators’ request to conduct a comprehensive study of food insecurity on American colleges and universities. We call on the GAO to collaborate with researchers and practitioners in the field and for lawmakers to lend their support.

We stand ready to offer our insight into this issue gained from over a decade of experience working hand-in-hand with campus professionals and student advocates.

[1] Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J. & Hernandez, A. (2017). Hungry, Homeless, and in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education. Madison, WI: Wisconsin HOPE Lab

[2] Cady, Dubick and Matthews. Hunger on Campus: The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students. October 2016.

Student Perspectives: UMass-Amherst and the Campus Hunger Project

Rebecca Goldberg, a junior, and Arielle Newman, a senior, are co-presidents of Challah for Hunger at University of Massachusetts – Amherst. To follow our chapters’ research and advocacy work, sign up for monthly updates here.

We decided to get involved in the Campus Hunger Project because as a chapter we want to be advocates for our peers. In order to do so, we needed to learn about what our university was currently doing to  help students
experiencing hunger.

We learned that in Fall 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education conducted a survey of student hunger and homelessness in the state’s 29 public colleges and universities. Nearly 40% of the state’s public campuses reported an increase in students living with food insecurity. We were struck by that fact that out of the five UMass campuses, UMass Amherst is the only one that is not operating or partnering with a regular or mobile food pantry.

However, during an interview with a member of the Dean of Students office, we learned about the different ways that the University does support students with financial need who are experiencing food insecurity.

  1. UMass Amherst offers loans without interest or late fees that can be taken out by students in need.
  2.  UMass Dining offers free meal swipes (the way our dining halls work is you swipe your university card and the food is buffet style) to those who demonstrate food insecurity.
  3. The Dean of Students office is working to create a Supply Closet Program stocked with toiletries and basic household items for students.There would be a few locations on campus where students could go for support such as the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health and the Dean of Students office.

All in all, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of  programs that UMass Amherst has since few people know about them due to minimal to no advertisement. These programs show that the University cares about fighting student hunger and supporting those students who are affected by it. Additionally, during the interview with the Dean of Students office, we found out that the majority of students find out about the office’s programs through word of mouth.

With that said, we make sure to tell our volunteers and the student body about these programs so that they are aware of them and can spread the word as well. During all of the volunteer sessions, we have a hunger advocacy component where we talk and teach about student hunger and the resources available to students. We also have fliers and information sheets on the table during tabling when we sell the challah bread. Challah for Hunger at UMass has been working hard to and is continuing to spread the word about all of the programs that UMass Amherst has to offer.

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Our goal is to expand our network to 100 active chapters by the end of the 2016-2017 school year and you can help make this possible!