For the 12th year, the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) has teamed up with Michigan State Athletics for the campus-wide food drive, Help Tackle Hunger. Beginning March 11 through Saturday, April 13, RHS team members, campus partners and members of the community can participate in the Help Tackle Hunger food drive, which directly supports the MSU Student Food Bank.
The MSU Student Food Bank is a critical line of defense for students and student families experiencing food insecurity. Facing a limited availability of food can have a negative impact on students’ academic success.
“Unfortunately, hunger does exist within the MSU community, and it’s difficult for any student to excel academically when they come to school hungry,” said Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises Vennie Gore. “Our goal with the Help Tackle Hunger food drive is to help replenish inventories at the MSU Student Food Bank by raising donations for the cause.”
According to the MSU Student Food Bank website, on average, the facility serves more than 4,000 students and distributes more than 35,000 pounds of food in a single year. The nonprofit, which operates year-round, was the first on-campus food bank in the nation and last year marked 25 years of providing services to Spartans.
To contribute to the Help Tackle Hunger food drive, monetary donations are being collected through Saturday, April 13 at any Sparty’s location, campus Starbucks locations, Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place and all quick-service restaurants within the MSU Union Food Court. The drive culminates at the Green-White Game April 13, where monetary donations will continue to be accepted at all MSU Concessions stands open during the event.
This year, in partnership with Michigan State Athletics, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan is also supporting the efforts with food collection at the entrances of Spartan Stadium during the game. Statewide agents will be on-site to collect nonperishable food donations to distribute to the MSU Student Food Bank.
Learn more about donating to the MSU Student Bank here.
Campus Food Insecurity
A 2016 study published by the College and University Food Bank Alliance, of which the MSU Student Food Bank is a cofounder, revealed food insecurity on campus is common across the U.S. For this report, nearly 4,000 students were surveyed across 12 states. Some of the findings included:
- 48 percent of respondents reported food insecurity in the previous 30 days, including 22 percent with very low levels of food security that qualify them as hungry.
- Food insecurity occurs at both two-year and four-year institutions. Twenty-five percent of community college students qualified as having very low food security, compared to 20 percent at four-year schools.
- Food insecurity was more prevalent among students of color. Fully 57 percent of Black or African American students reported food insecurity, compared to 40 percent of non-Hispanic white students.
- More than half of all first-generation students (56 percent) were food insecure, compared to 45 percent of students who had at least one parent who attended college.
- Fifty-six percent of food insecure students reported having a paying job. Of those employed students, 38 percent worked 20 hours or more per week.
- Being enrolled in a meal plan with a campus dining hall does not eliminate the threat of food insecurity. Among the respondents from four-year colleges, 43 percent of meal plan enrollees still experienced food insecurity.