Guest post by Hana, Challah for Hunger at UC Davis and 2017/2018 Campus Hunger Cohort member. Hana created a local resource map for students so they can easily access existing basic needs resources. This will help to increase awareness of food insecurity, and reduce the stigma on students for being food insecure.
Earlier this quarter, CfH at Davis was fortunate enough to be visited by Senator Bill Dodd. After a brief tour of the Hillel House, where CfH Davis holds our weekly challah bakes, board members sat down to a warm discussion. In a small meeting room called Oscar’s Den, we were able to share about the purpose of Challah for Hunger, and what it meant to us.
With board members ranging from their first month of service to their fourth year, a wide variety of perspectives and experiences were represented. The sense of community in the room was incredible; Challah for Hunger has really brought us together.
We shared some of our strategies for raising campus awareness and reducing the stigma of being food insecure. Senator Dodd was interested to hear our opinions on the stigma of food insecurity, and its impacts on college students. While the UC Davis campus is taking great steps towards reducing food insecurity, such as expanding the ASUCD Student Pantry’s budget, there is still a lot of work to be done to reduce individual misperceptions about food insecurity. Stigma may itself constitute a barrier to resource access.
Senator Dodd then spoke to the board about his work in the California State Senate. He emphasized his commitment to making sure everyone is on even footing, citing a bill he is working on to create access to preschool education for all. Food security is absolutely necessary for even footing, especially in education. Learning may certainly be hindered by working extra hours to provide for oneself, or even hindered by simple hunger. This connection we found between our shared missions ended the meeting on a hopeful note. Surely with further connections and collaborations, we will all be able to forge a brighter future.