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Food Security Advocates

Food Security Advocates (FSA) is a student organization associated with the Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement that works on food security and hunger relief efforts.  We engage in direct volunteerism via our Food Pantry Delivery Program, food drives, the Backpack Lunches for Kids Program, and collaborations with organizations such as Foodlink. We also seek to educate ourselves about food security issues via presentations during our meetings and speaker events.

Mobile Food Pantry Event photo with two of our members, Corinne and Jack

Above: A photo from our Mobile Food Pantry event in 2020


Our Mission

We are devoted to providing underserved members of the community with the means to fill their most basic need: the need to eat. Although our society has progressed to a point where some of us can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, systemic inequities have left many people behind the national standard. In Geneseo, many still struggle to feed themselves and their families. We believe that no human being should be left hungry, and our mission is to ensure that people in our area have the means to eat, even if they can’t afford to buy food. We primarily focus on local efforts to eradicate hunger, but we also acknowledge national and global issues of food security. In keeping with the values of the college, we aim to further campus sustainability and social responsibility  We also seek to strengthen the bond of our institution to the surrounding community. 


What We Do

Food Security Advocates is a group focused on food. The ramifications of this statement are broad; we invest ourselves in the food-related facets of many different social issues.

Most of our group's activities can be broken down into three categories of focus:

  1. We seek to educate ourselves and others about the issues related with food insecurity.
  2. We directly contribute our time, ideas, and work to various efforts combating food insecurity.
  3. We reach out to other organizations and groups in the community in order to achieve more through collaboration.

We welcome new members. All members are given the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas, and are encouraged to spearhead projects of their choosing or design.


Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2021

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a national holiday that is celebrated this year from November 13-21, 2021. For the entire week, Food Security Advocates (FSA) is collaborating with several organizations and individuals to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness through interactive workshops, guest speakers, and volunteer opportunities.

Monday 11/15/21

Tuesday 11/16/21

Garth Freeman: Group Reading and Discussion of “The Lovers of the Poor” by Gwendolyn Brooks

On-zoom | 6:30-7:30pm 

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Led by: Garth Freeman (Director of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement

This event will incorporate reading and discussion using the text as a framework for a conversation about homelessness, service to others, and where you fit into the picture.

Wednesday 11/17/21

Guest Speaker: Jessica Gilbert: Poverty as a Root Cause of Hunger and Homelessness

MacVittie College Union, Room 135 (Hunt Room) or via Zoom | 11:00-12:30pm

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Led by: Jessica Gilbert (Department of Geography and Sustainability Studies)

This interactive workshop will explore how poverty is a root cause of hunger and homelessness. Using discussion and group activities, we will dig into "band-aid solutions" and solutions that address the root causes of hunger and homelessness. Centering drivers of poverty, we will focus on understanding how we can most effectively alleviate current experiences of hunger and homelessness while also addressing the underlying causes.

Gilbert is a visiting instructor in the Department of Geography and Sustainability Studies at SUNY Geneseo and a research fellow in food justice at Partnership for the Public Good (PPG).

Pre-register here (optional)

FSA Annual Turkey Drive

MacVittie College Union Lobby | 11:00-5:00pm

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Every Thanksgiving, Food Security Advocates (FSA) hosts a turkey drive where a donation of $10 can buy a local food insecure family a turkey for the holiday. We will be tabling in the College Union and will even have a live turkey tracker you can contribute to!

Thursday 11/18/21

FSA Annual Turkey Drive

MacVittie College Union Lobby | 11:00-5:00pm

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Every Thanksgiving, Food Security Advocates (FSA) hosts a turkey drive where a donation of $10 can buy a local food insecure family a turkey for the holiday. We will be tabling in the College Union and will have a live turkey tracker.

Friday 11/19/21

Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Boyd: So You Think You Know What Hunger and Homelessness Is?

MacVittie College Union, Room 135 (Hunt Room) | 2:30-3:30pm

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Led by: Dr. Robert Boyd (Lecturer and Internship Director in the School of Business)

Come join Food Security Advocates (FSA) and Dr. Robert Boyd to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of what hunger and homelessness is as well as dispelling some common myths.

Dr. Boyd is a lecturer and Director of the School of Business interns and has engaged with the community through the West Side Farmers Market and St Peter's Kitchen in Rochester, NY.

Pre-register here (optional)

FSA Annual Turkey Drive

MacVittie College Union Lobby | 11:00-5:00pm

Hosted by: Food Security Advocates (FSA)

Every Thanksgiving, Food Security Advocates (FSA) hosts a turkey drive where a donation of $10 can buy a local food insecure family a turkey for the holiday. We will be tabling in the College Union and will have a live turkey tracker.

All Week (11/15/21-11/19/21)

Period Products Drive

Located in all residence halls

Hosted by: Erin Shaut (TCO of Saratoga Townhouses)

This drive will collect pads, tampons, pantiliners, and even diva cups to help women who are experiencing period poverty. Donations will go to Planned Parenthood/ SARC, Willow, and the YWCA of Rochester. Boxes will be placed in all residence halls and all are encouraged to donate what you can.

SA Club Food Drive

All donations can be dropped off at the SA office (CU 316)

Hosted by: SA Student Affairs Committee

The Student Association Student Affairs Committee will be hosting a competition between all the SA-funded clubs to encourage food pantry donations to the Geneseo/Groveland Emergency Food Pantry (GGEFP). There will be two winners, the small (under 20 members) and large (over 20 members) clubs with the most donations per member will win a chance to get food for a club meeting!


Food Security Resources

Geneseo Groveland Emergency Food Pantry (GGEFP)

 If you are a student in need of food assistance, you may access the Geneseo Groveland Emergency Food Pantry directly at 31 Center St. (the lower level of Central Presbyterian Church), Geneseo, NY 14554. All students (including on-campus, off-campus, and commuter students) are eligible to receive 1-2 sets of bags per month. The pantry is open on Tuesday and Thursdays from 10 AM to 2 PM, and Wednesday from 4 PM to 6:30 PM. Due to the pandemic, please call 585-991-8220 while waiting outside the pantry pickup door on the far side of the church. Someone from the pantry will meet you there to check you in. More information can be found at the Geneseo Groveland Emergency Food Pantry Website

To donate to the pantry, please drop items off at 31 Center St. (the lower level of Central Presbyterian Church), Geneseo, during their hours of operation. There are also baskets for donations in the hallway of Central Presbyterian Church (upstairs) and in the St. Mary’s Parish Center. To make a financial contribution, please make your check out to "Geneseo/Groveland Emergency Food Pantry" and mail it to 31 Center Street, Geneseo, NY 14454.

The Geneseo Little Free Pantry

The Geneseo Little Free Pantry is a privately-owned initiative located at the Wadsworth Library on 24 Center Street, Geneseo, NY 14454 that uses a "take what you need, leave what you can" system. It is open to any Geneseo community members to utilize and take care of. 

 All donations (non-perishable food, sanitary products, paper products etc.) of any size are welcome. You can contact the owners by emailing GeneseoLFP@gmail.com with suggestions, concerns, or questions. 

Out-of-Town Resources

If you need food assistance but don't live in Geneseo and aren't able to commute to the area, you can find your local food pantry by clicking on the following links based on your area; Rochester, Livingston County, and the surrounding area; Buffalo and Western New York; The Southern Tier; Central New York; Northeastern New York; Westchester; the New York City area; and Long Island. You can also use this link for a map of all of New York


Program Descriptions

Backpack Lunches for Kids

There are children in the Livingston County community that get breakfast and lunch at school for a reduced price. On weekends and holiday breaks, these children often go hungry. The Backpack Lunch Program sends children home with food they can easily prepare over the weekend.  When selecting food for the Backpack Lunch Program, we are looking for kid-friendly, nutritious, and lightweight items with a long shelf life.

End-of-Semester Food Drives

We coordinate with Student Life and CAS to hold large collections drives of nonperishables for the final two weeks at the end of each semester. We supply cardboard boxes in residence halls, dining facilities, and the College Union so that students may conveniently donate leftover, unopened food, before leaving their dorms for the semester. We also conduct a handful of other food drives throughout the academic year, most notably our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive in late November. 

Speaker Events/Educational Outreach

We attempt to organize at least one speaker event per semester featuring an authority on some food-related topic. In the past, we have had the privilege of hosting a discussion forum on child nutrition and hunger traps with Dr. Pallavi Panda. Additionally, FSA typically hosts a week of campus-wide events for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, an annual national holiday that occurs in mid-late November. 

Volunteering

Due to the pandemic, our in-person volunteering events are limited. We are having students help us with our current operating programs in a COVID-safe way. When we aren't in the middle of a pandemic, we frequently sign up for relevant service opportunities together, providing the chance to directly help address food insecurity. This includes frequent trips to Foodlink, a food bank in Rochester, where we help organize and sort donations.


E-board and Contact Information

Photo of some of our members compiling some of our donations.