The Make It or Break It Fund helps students who are facing financial hardship by providing one-time assistance that can be used for a range of expenses such as car repairs or medical bills. Many students are financially precarious, and even a small surprise such as an unusually high heating bill or flat tire could threaten their ability to finish the semester or even to complete their degree at all. The fund was created about a decade ago by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences advancement board, and for many years board members were the sole donors to this fund. But last year COVID triggered hardship for many students: for example, causing those working in catering, restaurants, and hospitality to lose their jobs. So CHaSS created a website to invite applications from students and donations from anyone who could help. Before 2020, the Make It or Break It fund typically had a few thousand dollars at any one time, but last year the fund received approximately $46,000 in donations. With an average gift of $300, the Make It or Break It fund helped many students make it—and stay in school.
Another successful Miracle Project by Farmers Feeding Utah took place on July 28 in West Valley, Utah. Volunteers came from Grainger High School, USU Extension, USU Create Better Health, and Farm Bureau. They distributed beef, milk, cheese, potatoes, eggs, sweet corn, and other seasonal produce to more than 1,500 families currently facing food insecurity in the area. Thanks to all who helped!
Many hands came together to make another Farmers Feeding Utah Miracle possible. Following a bountiful donation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Farmers Feeding Utah Program, a statewide food distribution blitz was held on Wednesday, May 19. One of the seven events was held at Layton Commons Park. Thank you to the many people who showed up to help with the Davis County Miracle!
In May, Farmers Feeding Utah and volunteers with the Future Farmers of America clubs from Richfield, South Sevier and North Sevier high schools helped load over 1,000 boxes of food into cars of local families. The food was all produced in Utah. This event was part of the Farmers Feeding Utah efforts to reduce food insecurity throughout the state, especially those places where families have been impacted by the pandemic. Donations make this possible and can be given here: https://farmersfeedingutah.org/.
LaCee Jimenez, the Social Marketing and Eligibility Coordinator at USU Create Better Health (Utah SNAP-Ed), met with Kailey Foster of Utah Public Radio to explain the numerous ways SNAP recipients can access fresh, nutritious, local produce. LaCee also explains how to find farmers markets and produce stands that accept the SNAP EBT card. Countless Utah farmers are eager to make their produce and fresh food available to all people.
Create Better Health (Utah SNAP-Ed) ambassador, Hiram Wigant, was interviewed on Fox13 to spread awareness of the "Buy Produce for Your Neighbor" program. This program is slowly spreading to Farmers Markets across the state and in 2020 provided more than 1,500 pounds of fresh, nutritious, and delicious produce to pantries. In addition to Hiram's explanation of the Buy Produce for your Neighbor program, Paige Norton, of Farmers Feeding Utah shares information about the "Touch of Utah" subscription boxes that support our local agriculture and food insecurity issues. Click on the image to watch the 5 minute segment on The Place Fox 13.
Create Better Health (Utah SNAP-Ed is sponsoring a new approach to food drives. Farmers markets throughout the state now have the "Buy Produce For Your Neighbor" program available to community members. As individuals visit their local farmers market, they have the option to purchase additional produce to be donated directly to the local food pantry. The increase of nutrient-dense options at food pantries is a welcomed sight to pantry managers and clients.
Utah State University Extension and Create Better Health (Utah SNAP-Ed) launched a Eat Fresh Buy Local social marketing campaign. The goal was to encourage SNAP participants to use the Double-up Food Bucks benefit at their local farmers markets. This social marketing campaign was awarded a Merit Award in Educational Advertising for their efforts with bus ads. Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to support local agriculture and increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake.
Recent funding from the COVID Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA) has allowed Utah State University to hire a full-time Food Security Coordinator at USU. This position will increase the school's capacity to more fully assist Aggies during their time at USU and ensure their basic needs are met. If you would like to support the work of SNAC, you can donate to their Aggie-Funded campaign at https://www.usu.edu/aggiefunded/snac2021/.
Farmers Feeding Utah celebrated one year by doing what they do best, a food distribution "blitz" in 5 cities across the state. The retail value of the food donated during the blitz was over $300,000. Visit https://farmersfeedingutah.org/ to learn more about this inspiring cause.
Last year as the pandemic's reach and impact continued to expand, a National Food Access and COVID Research Team was organized. Mateja R. Savoie Roskos and Mckenna Voorhees from Utah State University joined the team as representatives for the state of Utah. Savoie and Voorhees sought information on how COVID-19 was impacting Utahns. A Qualtrics survey was sent to 27,763 individuals. This survey analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity among SNAP-eligible individuals. Some of the changes analyzed were food access, food insecurity, purchasing behaviors, and experiences regarding COVID-19. Findings reported an increase in general food insecurity prevalence and evidence suggests that residual effects of the pandemic will persist.
The efforts of Farmers Feeding Utah in Kane County were inspiring. We are grateful for all the hands that came together to make it possible. "We have a lot of people who often feel forgotten down on this end of the state, so it was really exciting to bring people together and provide high-quality foods," said Dusty Reese. Farmers Feeding Utah has now donated over $3,000,000 in retail value of food throughout the state. And they aren't done yet. Visit farmersfeedingutah.org to learn more and donate to this great cause.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to strain food lines, Farmers Feeding Utah strives to build a bridge between farmers and hungry families. On March 26, volunteers provided food to approximately 300 families. Families received bags of Utah-grown products, including potatoes, apples, beef, milk, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, and more. The beef provided at the Kanab event came from local ranchers, John and Dusty Reese.
It has been just over a year since Farmers Feeding Utah launched their efforts. To date, there have been 32 Utah farmers supported by the program. Farmers throughout the state have been impacted by the economic struggle brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of Farmers Feeding Utah has brought economic relief to farmers and prevented massive food waste.
Earlier this year, Farmers Feeding Utah and the Miracle of Agriculture partnered with the Foundation for Kids to donate 38,000 pounds of food to 5 elementary schools in the Salt Lake Valley. This is just one of the many inspiring projects completed by Farmers Feeding Utah. Their efforts continue to support Utahns impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To donate to these efforts, visit http://farmersfeedingutah.org/.
In less than a year, Farmers Feeding Utah has served more than 21,331 families. Their efforts continue to spread across the state. This project continues to grow and include more and more hunger fighting agencies. Utah State University, USU Extension, schools, pantries, churches, farmers, and individuals across the state are joining Utah Farm Bureau to help farmers deliver fresh, nutritious, locally grown food to Utah families.
Many individuals and organizations came together for a successful Farmers Feeding Utah event in Washington County. Over 1,200 families benefited from this event. The work continues with Farmers Feeding Utah!
Farmers Feeding Utah has donated over 1.1 million pounds of nutritious food to families in need. Their efforts were inspired by the struggles that have resulted from the COVID19 pandemic. Utah State University Extension and Create Better Health (Utah SNAP-Ed) are proud partners and look forward to the continuation of these efforts.
Farmer families, agricultural volunteers, Weber County Sheriff’s Office and the Ogden Police Department were on hand at the Weber County Fairgrounds to hand out meals to those in need. That's why the event was called “Cops and Crops.” Police officers in Ogden partnered with Farmers Feeding Utah to distribute food to more than 1,500 families. Thank you to all who assisted in this event. Farmers Feeding Utah continues to aid Utahns who are trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Farmers Feeding Utah continues to raise funds to purchase food from farmers throughout the state. This food goes to families impacted by the pandemic. In less than one year, there has already been more than $1,000,000 worth of food donated. And they aren't done yet!
Provo families benefited from yet another inspiring Farmers Feeding Utah Miracle. Turkey, potatoes, cheese, butter, eggs, and more were delivered right in time for families to enjoy for Thanksgiving. The harsh impact of the pandemic has been difficult for many, especially heading into the holidays. We are grateful to all those who assisted in this project to fight hunger in Utah County.
Farm Bureau and the Miracle of Agriculture Foundation initiated the Farmers Feeding Utah Miracles. The Miracles were created to assist the farming and ranching industry by purchasing food (commodities) from Utah farmers and then distributing to families in need. Individuals and families in Utah are benefiting from these miracles over half a million pounds of food have been donated to Utah communities. More miracles are in the works! The Miracle of Agriculture Foundation and Farm Bureau partner with Utah State University Hunger Solutions Institute. We appreciate the leadership that has been given by Farm Bureau partners: Ron Gibson, Clayton Beckstead, Matt Hargreaves, Brett Behling, Bailee Woolstenhulme, Susan Furner, and Joshua Palmer.
"When I heard about Farmers Feeding Utah, I knew I needed to get involved. I have been in need of help in my past and how better to return those favors by helping my fellow Americans. It takes a community to raise a family. I have made it a goal to help my community in any way I can every time I can. The more I help others the less I need help." - Austin Flitton
Utah State University President, Noelle Cockett, Encourages Aggies Everywhere to Support Farmers Feeding Utah
“As the land-grant university that is proud to count so many farmers and ranchers as alumni, I can think of no better way to help them during this difficult time – and help needy families as well – than what this program has been doing,” said Noelle Cockett, President of Utah State University. “I’m proud to have our ‘Hunger Solutions Institute’ and Extension play such a significant role in helping individuals and families in Utah – including our own students – get the food they need. I would encourage current and former Aggies everywhere to visit FarmersFeedingUtah.org and consider how you may be able to contribute.”
Many people have been laid off because of the pandemic, especially in the Uintah Basin, due to a decreased demand for oil. The Farmers Feeding Utah program arrived in Vernal to help those families in need. This program continues to work miracles across the state. And they continue to receive incredible community support. Thank you to all those who showed up to help distribute food to hungry Utah families.
It's the holiday season, and too many families are food insecure. To combat hunger, Tooele County Create Better Health team assembled and handed out 90 turkey meal kits to food pantry clients. Meal kits included recipes, food safety tips, and ingredients for a turkey dinner.
"Thank you so much! I know me and my husband were worried we wouldn't have food the next few days. This helped us so so so much!" "Thank you so much! It’s going to help out so much. It was awesome the way you handled it and kept everything running smoothly and made sure that everyone was able to get some of everything. Thank you again for all of it." "I am very grateful for all of your hard work. And it is such a huge boost for eating healthy. Thank you all so very much. God bless. Oh, and I love the reusable bags they are very nice." "Thank you so much! I held back tears receiving food!" "Agreed I was a bit emotional seeing all this! Came at a perfect time for our family! Thank you!" "Thank you . . . Our family was very much in need of this blessing." "Thank you to the farmers!"
Farmers Feeding Utah helped families in the Salt Lake area by donating 40,000 lbs of potatoes, 18,000 dozen eggs, 35,000 lbs of carrots, 3,000 lbs of lamb meat,, 420 lbs of mushrooms, 5,950 lbs of corn, 800 lbs of cherries, 350 lbs of garlic, 8,000 lbs of beef, 240 lbs of cheese, and 250 lbs of zucchini. More than 1,500 families were served directly and four local food pantries. The Farmers Feeding Utah Miracles continue to make sure farmers and families can continue during this global pandemic.
Farmers Feeding Utah donated 42,000 lbs of potatoes, 20,000 lbs of beef, 3,000 lbs of pork, 19,000 dozen eggs, and $100,000 of dairy to the residents of Cache Valley and food pantries in the area. Farmers Feeding Utah, launched by the Utah Farm Bureau, connects Utahns in need with safe and locally-grown food. 100% of donations received will go to purchasing, processing and distributing locally sourced food to families in need.
In May 2020 Farmers Feeding Utah donated over $200,000 retail value to community members of the Utah Chapters of the Navajo Reservation. This first Miracle Project included 605 live sheep, 16,000 lbs lamb meat, 10,000 lbs flour, and provided food for over 4,000 individuals.
Paula Scott, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Director (EFNEP), works tirelessly to help low-income populations acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional well-being. Annual data shows that more than 90% of adults and 81% of youth report improved behaviors following EFNEP involvement.
Farmers Feeding Utah has successfully donated a retail value of over $600,000 dollars to food pantries and families in need throughout the state. These inspiring efforts continue to move forward as Utah works hard to take care of each other from the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. Learn more about this program and all it has accomplished in their September 2020 Impact Report.
In Stacy Bevan's Community Engaged Learning course on Food Literacy, undergraduate students share their culinary knowledge with participants of USU's Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC). Food Literacy students developed culinary handouts with recipes using commonly stocked pantry items. The handouts include cost breakdown of ingredients totaling $2.25 per serving or less. The SNAC pantry plans to put the recipes in a booklet and hopes to include a QR code for easy access for SNAC participants.
Thank you to AFLCIO Pantry, Crossroads Urban Center, Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Mower, Harward Farms, Local Foods Advisory Council, Mountain View Mushrooms, Payson Fruit Growers, Rep Joel Brisco, Rep. Steve Handy, Rep. Angela Romero, Roberts Family Farms, Salt Lake County Council, Shireen Ghorbani, Sen. Gene Davis, Senator Luz Escamilla, Sen. Karen Mayne, Sen. Romney’s Staff, Sen. Todd Weiller, SLC Police Department, Springville Wheeler Farm, University Neighborhood Partners, USU Extension, USU Create Better Health, USU Institute of Gov’t and Politics, Utah Department of Ag., Utah Division of Natural Resources, Utah Governor’s Office, Utah Lt. Gov Spencer Cox, Utah State Fair Park Staff, Utahns Against Hunger, Veteran’s Hospital Pantry, Westside Community Council, Western Farm Bureau Presidents and Families, Utah Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Insurance.
Thank you to Cathy Newman (Tremonton Pantry), Matt Whitaker (Cache Pantry), Mike Pace, Josh Dallin (Box Elder Extension), Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Insurance.
Thank you to Rebecca Benally, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Utah Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Insurance.
Create Better Health en español is the SNAP-Ed program in Utah for Spanish speaking households. This program offers free live classes and online resources to help the LatinX community with nutrition education, basic kitchen skills, traditional recipes, as well as tips on staying physically fit.
LaCee Jimenez plays a crucial role in fighting hunger in Utah. She is a leader at the state level for Create Better Health, Utah's SNAP-Ed program. LaCee coordinates interventions that impact policies, systems, and environments to improve food security. She helps the SNAP-Ed program identify populations experiencing hunger and supports food access efforts. Her work includes promoting healthy food drives and Double Up Food Bucks through the Eat Fresh, Buy Local campaign. LaCee is also a key supporter of the USU Hunger Solutions Institute.
The USU Gleaning Team is at it again this year! They are just beginning their season and have already collected 100 pounds. Anyone who owns, or rents property, or knows someone with fruit trees that produce excess fruit, the USU Gleaning team can come and pick the excess produce that would otherwise go to waste. Click here for more information.
Co-founder and Director of Utah Conservation Corps, Sean Damitz is a force for good among students and employees on Utah State University campus. He leads staff in effective and efficient hunger-fighting programs including the SNAC campus pantry. He helped convert a weed patch into an urban community farm which donates food to the hungry. And he has helped secure grant money to continue funding to increase food security.
Utah farmers and families have been particularly impacted by this pandemic. Many important supply chain elements have closed down, leaving farmers unable to sell their Utah-grown products. All of this has been happening as a record breaking number of Utahns have been furloughed or seen their pay cut due to the impacts of coronavirus. Therefore, more families than ever are in need of food resources. Individuals throughout Utah continue to pour in donations, and Farmers Feeding Utah was able to use that money to purchase goods from several different farmers and producers in the state including Gossners and Oakdell eggs. Over 400 families benefited from these donations as well as food pantries in Cache, Box Elder, and Rich Counties.
Hiram Wigant, HSI Assistant Coordinator, devised, executed, and marketed the "Buy Produce for your Neighbor" program at the Cache Valley Farmers' Market. This program has gained momentum around the state as more and more local farmers markets offer the program. This initiative makes is possible for market patrons to purchase extra fresh produce and donate it to local emergency food sites. According to Wigant, he modeled his idea after a grocery store program that allowed customers to donate money at the cash register for meal kits that the local food bank could distribute. This program provides fresh healthy produce to pantries, supports local farmers, and reduces overall food waste.
Farmers markets are a great opportunity to support local farmers and enjoy delicious and nutritious produce. Twenty-two farmers markets throughout the state of Utah have partnered with the Double Up Food Bucks program to allow SNAP participants to stretch their food dollars and incentivize purchasing fresh produce. Eat Fresh Buy Local and Double Up Food Bucks benefit health-conscious families and their community.
The Utah State University Chapter of the Food Recovery Network recovered food from campus dining services that was unused due to students moving home so quickly during the pandemic. They recovered 200 lbs of cheese and butter, 150 lbs of produce, and 150 lbs of assorted bread items.
The first Miracle Project from Farmers Feeding Utah was delivered to the Navajo Nation in San Juan County. They received over 25,000 pounds of lamb meat, plus shipments of live lambs for future use. This totaled more than $100,000 worth of lamb. More Farmers Feeding Utah campaigns to come. Stay tuned.
The COVID19 pandemic has left several students jobless or with fewer work hours. Volunteers at the Utah State University Student Nutrition Access Center have continued to work hard to keep the pantry stocked and students fed during this economically stressful time.
Create Better Health Utah Joins Farmers' Feeding Families Program to Reduce Food Waste & Stop Hunger
Create Better Health is Utah's SNAP-Ed program. Throughout the state, ambassadors educate SNAP participants on healthy eating habits and tips for a physically active lifestyle. Through their Policy, Systems and Environment efforts, they improve access to nutritious options and physical activity opportunities. Most recently, Create Better Health has partnered with Farmers Feeding Utah, a program designed to connect locally sourced food from struggling farmers and ranchers to Utahns in need.
Dr. Brian Warnick, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, has given USU HSI his full support over the years. In the spring of 2019, Dr. Warnick assisted faculty with getting the Hunger and Food Security Studies Minor approved. His efforts made it possible for students to start pursuing this minor in the fall of 2019.
Dr. Chuck Carpenter, Department Head of the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Department at USU, has been an avid supporter of the USU Hunger Solutions Institute since day one. Dr. Carpenter has provided the USU HSI with one-time funding for small events such as the Hunger Discussion in the fall of 2018. Dr. Carpenter has also supported faculty and staff in their effort to aid hunger relief efforts on and off campus.
The Utah State University NDFS faculty and staff collected $2,000 for donation to the Student Nutrition Access Center. Since February 2020, SNAC has been seeing at least 400 visitors per week. Gratitude goes out to the NDFS Department for their personal generosity during this difficult time as students adjust to new living conditions amid the COVID-19 threat.
Sarah Patino, an ambassador for the Create Better Health Program in Tooele County, has partnered with the local Boys and Girls Club and food pantry to create monthly recipe bags for families in need. These recipe bags are kid friendly both in taste and assembly and use mostly non-perishable foods. 89% of the children in the Tooele Boys and Girls Club are living at or below the poverty level. These meal bags are a simple, yet impactful, way to improve food insecurity effects in the homes of these families.
Brhianna Malcolm, Student Sustainability Office Coordinator at Utah State University, directly oversees multiple student interns in the SSO. Brhianna helps guide and manage the Fall USU Farmers Market, which hosts the Double Your Food Bucks program. This program is a way to subsides local produce for students not using SNAP. She also organized the February Film Series, which offers students free local soup while watching documentaries on sustainability and food security/systems. Brhianna helped plan the Food Summit in 2019 and is pursuing her Masters of Natural Resources with a focus in Food Systems and Food Insecurity.
Kara began working with the student sustainability office as the Food Intern in December 2017. While there she helped run the Food Recovery Network, the USU on-campus farmers market, and co-created the Campus Kitchen at USU. After volunteering with the Food Preservation and Hunger Relief program and participating in an Alternative Spring Break picking fruit with Ishkashitaa, the idea of the USU Gleaning Team was born. Working along side Amria Farnsworth, they started a very successful program gleaning 15,336 pounds in their first year.
Nelda Ault-Dyslin has been the Community Service Coordinator in the Val R. Christensen Service Center for six years. She helps community-minded students work with partners and organizations to meet needs of people on campus and in communities. She is the adviser for SNAC, Campus Kitchen, and the Food Recovery Network. Nelda has helped organize the Utah Higher Education Food Summit since its inception, and she looks forward to helping the food security programs of the Service Center grow to better meet the food needs of students and community members.
College students are a relatively unstudied population when it comes to hunger issues, and yet they are among the most likely populations to experience food insecurity in the United State. Dr. Mateja Savoie Roskos, Co-Director of the Utah State University Hunger Solutions Institute, is examining food insecurity right here at USU. Some of the early findings can be read about here in the Utah State Magazine.
Compost Cache Valley's goal is to divert the food waste and other organic materials from landfills, then incorporate the nutrients and soil organic matter back into our local agricultural soils in the form of compost. They do this by collecting food waste from households, offices, and restaurants. They track each customer's food waste at each collection, which provides baseline data for reducing their food waste footprint. This coming growing season, they plan to partner with local gardens to provide compost for their operations.
Amria is the Vice-President of Kitchen Operations for the USU Campus Kitchen and serves as the Extension Hunger Relief and Food Preservation Intern. She partnered with USU County Specialists to preserve gleaned fruit into fruit purees and then donate the finished product. This fruit preservation program was created to increase access to fruits and vegetables to low-income individuals. Last season they produced 726 jars of applesauce. In addition to creating the applesauce, she helped another student, Kara Bachman, create and manage the USU Gleaning Team. They gleaned nearly 16,000lbs of produce in their first season. The gleaned produce was donated to SNAC, the Cache Valley Food Pantry, and a few community partners.
SLCC Campus Gardens offer garden plots to students and staff to rent for the season to grow their own produce. Many who rent plots choose to donate some of the produce they grow to the pantry. In addition, there are multiple plots reserved for growing produce that is exclusively donated to the food pantry. Recently the SLCC Campus Gardens and Bruins Pantries were awarded the $25,000 Ford Community Challenge Grant to pilot a project called SLCC Eats.
The USU Student Organic Farm donates hundreds of pounds of fresh produce to the USU SNAC Pantry and the Cache Valley Food Pantry. This year they added the Family Place to the list of organizations they donate to. Students are invited to volunteer on the farm in return for fresh produce. They also hold end of season gleaning parties to ensure nothing goes to waste.
As the director of Campus kitchen, Dawson helps reduce hunger and food waste by repurposing, repackaging, and cooking extra food into meals. The prepared meals are donated to the on campus pantry at USU. All of this is done completely by student volunteers and the help of advisers. Since its founding, student volunteers with The Campus Kitchens Project have teamed up with on-campus dining providers and cultivated local food recovery partnerships that help them prepare healthy, balanced meals for those in need.
James has been involved in several food security and sustainability initiatives. He started the USU chapter of the Food Recovery Network in conjunction with Dining Services in 2015. He served 3,000 hours as a community-engaged scholar while working on his undergraduate degree; his efforts were towards building sustainable food systems at USU. He also added a powerful student's voice while presenting at the first Utah Higher Education Food Summit in 2016, and he co-hosted the 2019 summit at USU along with Nelda Ault and USU HSI.
Salt Lake Community College assists its community members by filling their cupboards and stomachs. Students, staff, and faculty can all obtain free groceries and toiletries from the Bruin Pantry by presenting their OneCard. The Bruin Pantry knows almost every person has a period in their life where they may need a little help just to buy food or hygiene products. Thankfully, at SLCC, there is no reason to struggle with this type of insecurity.
Under the passionate leadership of Sean Damitz, the Utah Conservation Corps (UCC), based at Utah State University Center for Community Engagement, has been awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA grant to address student hunger and food security on six higher education institution campuses throughout the state.
In 2010, a small group of students concerned about their peers' access to food came together to found the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC). From SNAC's humble beginnings in a trailer at the former USU Trailer Court, to a single metal cabinet, to the pantry that it is today, students have invested countless hours and a lot of energy to respond to the nutritional needs of other USU students.
Salt Lake City Mission is a non-profit organization that provides basic essentials to the homeless and others in need in the SLC area. They provide food, clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene items, crisis counseling, job counseling and other educational programs. In 2017 they celebrated 25 years of transforming and restoring lives. This mission is confident and committed to their motto: Providing real change, not just spare change.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), a nation-wide community nutrition education program, celebrates 50 years of operation this year. The program is administered by the USDA and National Institute of Food and Agriculture and currently provides services in all 50 states via the land-grant university system. Utah’s program is in cooperation with USU Extension under the direction of Paula Scott, Extension associate professor.
During the 2018 Hunger Solution Institute breakout session, Hiram Wigant, an educator with Create Better Health Utah, heard descriptions of different organizations, their goals, what they do, and what they wanted. But not how to help connect the organizations' goals and programs to jointly fight hunger. This sparked the idea to unify the Farmers Market, the Food Pantry, and the SNAP-Ed program to create the Buy Produce for Your Neighbor Program. Read about Hiram's initiative and the success here.
Every year students, staff, faculty, and administrators from campuses throughout the state of Utah, along with community partner organizations, gather at the Utah Higher Education Food Summit. Come learn about best practices in fighting campus and community food insecurity, network with other fighters of food insecurity and food waste, and contribute to the statewide conversation about what we can change in our communities.
The Utah State University Gleaning Team is picking fruits and vegetables from trees and gardens in Cache Valley as part of a collaborative effort through the USU Val R. Christensen Service Center, USU Extension, and the Student Sustainability Office. Volunteers come together and work to reduce food waste in Cache Valley and provide nutritious food for students and community members alike.
In 2015, Utah State University joined the Food Recovery Network (FRN). This initiative unites students on college campuses to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from campus and communities and donating it to people in need. At USU, the FRN recovers unsold food from campus dining services and then sorts the food which is used in SNAC, the USU Student Food Pantry. In fall 2019, USU FRN will begin a gleaning project to pick fruit from local trees which are not usually picked to donate to USU SNAC and the Cache Community Food Pantry.
Suzanne Prevedel, USU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Assistant Professor, has partnered with The Painted Horse Diabetes Prevention Program and the USU Extension Family Wellness Program to create the Garden Box Program. The Ute Tribe Painted Horse Diabetes Prevention Garden Box Program works to increase availability of fresh vegetables and increase numbers of individuals who garden in the Ute Tribal community as a chronic disease prevention and management strategy. The placement of garden boxes at individual's homes, instead of a central "drive-to" location is a unique feature of this garden program. This project helps people become more food secure by increasing opportunities for growing fresh vegetables, and linking them with other growers, and to community support services, such as the Roosevelt Farmers Market with the Double Up Food Bucks Program.
Utah State University Assistant Professor Cris Meier is leading the Smarter Lunchroom Movement in Utah. The SLM encourages healthy food choices in the lunchroom to make the food more appealing and increase self-efficacy for healthy choices. This in turn is expected to increase consumption of the foods selected by students as they make their own choices instead of being forced to do so. SLM also increases the capacity of food service staff to communicate with students, this could not only improve student healthy food choices but also improve communication where students share if they need assistance accessing meals due to food insecurity.
Utah’s SNAC group was initially formed in 2005 but has continued to evolve and grow with the changing demographics and needs of Utah’s population. SNAC allows agencies with similar nutrition and wellness missions to leverage resources and knowledge, reduce duplication of efforts, and ultimately increase the reach and impact of all the agencies involved. Utah SNAC strives to improve food security, nutrition, and health for Utahns. Click above to view the full 2017 report.
For two USU dietetics students anxious to share important knowledge about food, launching a nonprofit organization in a country like India seemed like a dream they might realize 10 years into the future. It did not take even one year! Marisa Christensen and Taylor Hale, who graduated in Spring 2018, created NEEM (Nutrition Education Ending Malnutrition). This organization offers a sustainable approach with emphasis on culturally appropriate education and investing in women.
Utah State University joins The Campus Kitchens Project, the leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste, with the official launch of its own Campus Kitchen. The student-led organization will turn wasted food into healthy, balanced meals for residents of Logan.