The Undergraduate Student Government’s Subcommittee for Food Insecurity held a meeting Wednesday in response to concerns from students over the affordability and availability of food options.
USG’s food insecurity advocacy coordinator Sydney Whittaker unveiled a multipart plan that covered several initiatives being planned for the future, and elaborated on those currently in place. The plan introduced two new key initiatives, pop-up snack pantries and cooking classes and expanded on the existing Husky Harvest food pantry program.
Although primarily in the planning phase, the proposed pop-up snack pantries will appear across select areas of campus during important times of year, such as midterm and finals weeks. The program is designed to provide study snacks to students when they are most busy. Kicking off the snack pantry initiative is the Fueling for Finals event that will be held on Dec. 1, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Union’s Dairy Bar Too. Further snack pantry events and locations have yet to be determined.
Also in the planning phase are student-oriented cooking classes. As a partnership between SHaW and USG, the ultimate goal of the classes will be to provide nutrition education to the student body. Whittaker emphasized that the program will be designed and overviewed by dieticians, and that the classes will be offered free to students.
“We are going to be showing students how to cook healthy meals on a budget. We would like to be inclusive of all socioeconomic backgrounds. We will be giving out free cooking supplies. A large portion of our budget is dedicated to providing free cooking supplies to students,” Whittaker said.
Because the program is currently in the planning phase, time and location for these cooking classes have not yet been established. Whittaker advised students to keep an eye out for polls posted on USG’s instagram page as they will use these responses to educate their decisions on cooking classes, snack pantries, and other food insecurity issues.
The final topic addressed at the meeting was UConn’s Husky Harvest program that has been in operation since March. Husky Harvest is the university’s primary food pantry and is open to anyone with a UConn ID, staff and graduate students included. Husky Harvest is located at the Charter Oaks Apartments Community Center. Husky Harvest hours of operation are as follows:
Fall 2023: Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Winter Break: Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spring 2024: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Going forward, the Subcommittee for Food Insecurity is looking to increase Husky Harvest accessibility to students by expanding hours of operation and supplying transportation to and from the Charter Oaks Community Center.
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