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.
Above: A photo from our Mobile Food Pantry event in 2020
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:
- We seek to educate ourselves and others about the issues related with food insecurity.
- We directly contribute our time, ideas, and work to various efforts combating food insecurity.
- 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.
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.
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
An annual interactive presentation where students learn about the impact of poverty and hunger on millions of people throughout the world. Hunger affects everyone, in countries rich and poor, in urban and rural areas, and everywhere in between. This experience is intended to raise awareness of the food crisis that is affecting some 30 million women, children, and men across the globe and in our local community.
Participants will take part in an immersive dining experience that illustrates the inequities and power structures inherent in food production and distribution. There will also be an option to donate to World Central Kitchen's efforts in Ukraine as conflict has decimated food systems and rapidly increased rates of hunger.
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.
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a national holiday that is celebrated this year from November 12-20, 2022. 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.
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 with professors and faculty of the college as well as professionals engaging in the field of food security on a regular basis. An event we have hosted annually since the Fall of 2020 is a celebration of National Bakery Day in collaboration with Sweet Arts Bakery on Main Street to raise awareness of food insecurity on-campus.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted to the college's regulations to have students help us operate our programs in a COVID-safe way. Slowly, we are offering more in-person volunteer opportunities for relevant service opportunities together, providing the chance to directly help address food insecurity. These offerings include packing bags for our Backpack Lunches for Kids Program, sorting donations from our food drives, field trips to local farms, staffing FSA events, and participating in larger, campus-wide volunteer events.