Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


SG President implores students to donate to the food pantry

Student Government has been implementing strategies, such as the mini food pantries, in order to bring in as many donations as possible.
Erika Fletcher
Mini pantry set up at the Heritage Park Towers lobby

Across the globe, there are over four million college students who struggle with food insecurity. The Beyond Food Program at FAU is available to any student and takes donations year-round. The staff has listed items that are needed most at this point in the semester. 

During the holiday season, it is more common for people to donate to local food pantries, hoping to make someone’s season brighter. However, once the season has passed, food pantries can struggle to bring in the same volume of supplies. SG President Dalia Calvillo has expressed they are going through the same struggle at this point in the semester. 

Mini food pantries are placed in common areas that students travel throughout the campus, such as the student union and dorm building lobbies. This has been a small way for the food pantry to bring in donations and encourage students to donate because of the accessibility of the mini pantries. 

“As this is our only strategy, any donations are greatly appreciated,” said SG President Dalia Calvillo. “We have also implemented initiatives such as the Owls Ending Hunger Program and the installation of nine mini food pantries across the Boca Raton campus. We also aid the Beyond Food Program, which is managed by the Dean of Students Office.”

The Student Government has implemented a strategy to collect goods: the Parking Citation Forgiveness Program. Through this program, SG pays parking tickets in exchange for students donating three canned goods.

The First and Proud office, a student group established in 2018 designed to create a community for first-generation college students, has worked with the food pantry as well as contributed to aiding vulnerable students by hosting a clothing drive. This allows students to clean out their closets and donate to those that are unable to purchase new clothing.

“It hasn’t been long but we did do one a while ago and when we donated to the shelters, they were sold. However, the money goes to building homes for the homeless. This year I want to donate them to a homeless shelter so those who really need it can get it for free,” said First and Proud President Aalesha Chisholm-Green.

In collaboration with the food pantry, the members of First and Proud were able to collect over 360 cans of food last year. 

“I have used the food pantry a few times within the past few months and it really does provide a good impact on the students. For students without a car it was great to have a food source that we didn’t have to pay for on campus. Not only is it the programs, but it is the people, the staff at the food pantry make everything so welcoming and allow for students to take as much as they want and need; this is such a great program,” Chrisholm-Green said. 

There are many reasons why food insecurity continues to become an issue on college campuses. These can include high costs of tuition and rent, as well as low wages and inconsistent or unreliable employers. 

Approximately 11,000 FAU students have expressed that food insecurity was one of their biggest concerns in their application. 

Sara Goldrick-Rab is a sociologist and was the founding president of the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University. The Center is an action research program focusing on how colleges and universities meet the basic needs of students, for example, food. 

She said many students who experience food insecurity on college campuses deal with the stigma of being poor “by choice.” 

Because of this, universities believed that it was not their job to address food insecurity. However, things have changed over time, and universities and students have contributed significantly to helping those facing food insecurity. 

“What they do is provide a very temporary bandaid for a student in acute need for emergency food. Like a bandaid, it’s important that the college/uni helps students address the underlying financial challenge, for example by fixing their financial aid package, connecting them to SNAP, helping them find a better job, more affordable dining plans and housing, and so on,” said Goldrick-Rab. “Students should not need to access the pantry on a regular basis— if they are, then the university isn’t doing enough to help.”

 Madison Denizard is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information on this article or others, you can reach Madison at [email protected]


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Erika Fletcher
Erika Fletcher, Lead Photographer
Erika is a senior majoring in multimedia studies with a minor in photography. She loves shooting sports and street photography and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, skateboarding, playing soccer, listening to music, and being with her friends and family. She joined the UP on a whim to make new friends and to get better at photography. In her time here, while not long, she's made connections and learned so much about herself already and can't wait to continue her journey with such great people.

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