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Campus Food Pantry and Community Garden collaborate to address food insecurity

Photo by Corissa Campbell

With sustainability and food insecurity continuing to be some of the top issues on many college students’ minds, two locations on campus provide the means for the Boise State community to get involved and help their fellow students.

In response to growing need, the Campus Food Pantry and the Sustainability Club’s Community Garden have gained new additions over the summer and have plans for the year ahead.

The Campus Food Pantry was able to receive a new fridge, now allowing for cold products such as milk, butter and half-and-half to be donated for distribution. 

According to Emily Hester, the Campus Food Pantry’s operations and sustainability coordinator, the pantry’s team has also expanded this year.

“[We have] added two new food pantry specialists to our team and hired a basic needs case manager, Michelle Cain, to help support our students and advocate for their futures,” Hester said.

Hester believes that these additions will allow the Campus Food Pantry to better support the needs and wants of the student body. 

Campus Food Pantry refrigerator, located in the Campus School building at Boise State.
[Photo of the refrigerator in the Campus Food Pantry in the Campus School building at Boise State]
Photo by Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

Looking ahead, Hester outlined three goals that the pantry team has for the coming year, including solidifying the ordering of hygiene and food products, providing more ways to involve students in the battle against food insecurity and ensuring that the basic needs of students are being met.

Tess Dennis, a sophomore arts education major, appreciates the work the food pantry has done so far.

“School is already hard enough as it is and not having food to eat should never be an issue,” Dennis said. “There is a stigma around food insecurity and help [but] that shouldn’t stop you from taking care of yourself.”

The Campus Food Pantry is also working to continue its partnership with another growing part of campus, the Community Garden run by the Sustainability Club. 

Kalli Proffitt, a fifth year biology major, is the community garden manager and president of Sustainability Club. Proffitt described this relationship between the Campus Food Pantry and the Sustainability Club as a nutrient recycling process.

“We would grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in the garden. Donating fresh and local food to the students, and community. We would then take any organic food waste, such as the potatoes and bread,” Proffitt explained. “Our worms could not handle the quantity of compost donated from students, that’s why a partnership with the food pantry would be a maintainable level.”

Independently, the Sustainability Club is seeking to expand their membership while also making new additions to the Community Garden.

“The big goal is creating a foundation for people to use the area and connect to sustainable practices,” Proffitt said.

In the short term, the Sustainability Club is currently working on the fall restoration process for the garden and encouraging new students to get involved by the spring.

“I realized that because of COVID, because we are still living in COVID, people really need social interactions,” Proffitt explained.

The Campus Food Pantry is located in Room 103 of the Campus School Building, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

The Sustainability Club’s Community Garden is located at 1415 Juanita St. just across the street from ‘The B” on campus.

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