Utah State University’s Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC) launched an Aggie Funded site with all proceeds going to provide food for the campus community. Currently, one-third of USU students are unable to access sufficient quantities of affordable food. The Aggie Funded campaign runs ends Tuesday, April 28.
SNAC, the on-campus food pantry, was established in 2010 with the express purpose of serving students in need of food. The pantry provides resources to students who either do not have enough money to buy food, are confined to a strict budget or who are unable to afford healthy options. It currently serves USU students, staff, faculty and spouses with a spouse card, no questions asked.
“If any student struggles to obtain adequate food, the physical and mental stress of this insecurity, added to the stress of being a student affects the community as a whole,” said Nelda Ault-Dyslin with USU’s Val R. Christensen Service Center.
According to a 2018 study by the USU Hunger Solutions Institute, 33% of the student population at the USU main campus in Logan is food insecure.
“Due to the stagnation of minimum wage in the last 10 years, while the price of education and the cost of living has increased, it is no surprise that the food insecurity of students across America at higher education institutions is emerging as a statistically significant trend and emergent area of research,” said James Wirth, AmeriCorps VISTA with the Utah Food Corps.
SNAC serves over 400 students per week with a diverse and nutritious balance of donated items, including in-season fresh fruit and vegetables. During the 2018-19 school year, the pantry recovered 38,000 pounds of food, providing meals for 1,600 individual students – only 12% of the student body, well below the 33% mark.
SNAC collaborates with Campus Kitchen, Food Recovery Network, USU Gleaning Team and the Utah Conservation Corps Urban Community Farm to provide repackaged food and produce for those in the campus community who are in need. The program depends on volunteers to recover food from several locations on and off campus, sort donations and operate the pantry.
Proceeds collected during the Aggie Funded drive will support all food recovery associated with the SNAC pantry in order to create more paid positions for student leaders, educate the community about food insecurity and provide funding for necessary pantry supplies.
SNAC continues to provide services during the COVID-19 crisis and is located in the Taggart Student Center, room 332. In spring 2020, SNAC is open Tuesday-Thursday from 1-5 p.m. and Friday from noon-2 p.m. For upt-t0-date information visit https://servicecenter.usu.edu/programs/snac.