UCAFE takes on UConn 


University of Connecticut students Abhishek Gupta and Wanjiku Gatheru highlight the issue of food insecurity on and surrounding UConn’s campus through UConn Access to Food Effort. (UCAFE) 

This initiative goes hand in hand with the Connecticut General Assembly’s passing of House bill 7-257, signed by Governor Ned Lamont this past July. The bill mandates that all public schools in Connecticut assess the current state of food insecurity.  

“A report that Senator Murphy launched, called the Hidden Cost of College, addressing food and housing among college students, cited a previous UCAFE survey this past July as a reference for closing the college hunger gap,” Gatheru, Co-Founder of UCAFE, said. 

As of Wednesday the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of the Provost launched an institutional assessment through a campuswide survey to measure the level of food insecurity within the community.  

“This issue is important to every member of the UConn community,” the Dean of Students said in an email to UConn students. “It is important that we learn from those of us who find themselves unable to eat healthy, frequent meals while studying at UConn.  Your participation will help us do our best work for students.” 

Gatheru noted that this initiative is not just happening at UConn; the nationwide “safety net” of food security is not robust enough.  

“As of Jan. 9th, food insecurity was seen and diagnosed by the federal government as a national epidemic,” Gatheru said. “The past decade we looked at food insecurity based in community colleges. Now we see that four-year colleges are feeder schools and their demographics are changing.”  

Students are urged by Gatheru to take action on the matter and join the coalition of UCAFE.  

“USG has created a food insecurity task force, we are working with dining services on creating nutrition workshops,” Gatheru said of further efforts, “[We want to] ensure we have a holistic set of factors working on the issue at hand.”  

The survey released this past Wednesday will close officially on Nov. 6th.  

Thumbnail photo couresy of Gordon Plouffe from the CT Mirror

Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.

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