Oh SNAP! Campus Food Programs
“Food for the Campus Community”
When Oh SNAP first started in 2013, we had a total of 10 students and 2 faculty working for the program. Initially, we did outreach to students to connect them with CalFresh benefit. Through our outreach events we were able to sign up 80 students for CalFresh. Through one of our member’s master’s project we were able to do research and what we found was alarming. Not only were students unable to access the healthy culturally relevant foods they desired, but many students were unable to access enough food and were often skipping meals. We also found that many students who needed CalFresh were not qualifying for it because they were students. What we learned sparked our interest in going farther. With a lot of hard work, we were able to expand our program.
In fall of 2014 we were able get a location (RWC 122) to open a food pantry for students as well as continuing outreach for CalFresh. Any student is welcome to use the pantry once a week, and students and non-students alike can come get help in applying for CalFresh. In the first six months we were open, we had over 1,000 students visit us for the first time, and over 1,900 visits overall. In addition to our food pantry and CalFresh outreach, we were also able to organize a shuttle system to the local food pantry and farmers market where students can get fresh produce, dairy products, bread, and additional non-perishables. We also began doing cooking demonstrations with a local chef which occur at least twice a month on site at our pantry location.