Food Security Advocates
Food Security Advocates (FSA) is a student organization associated with the Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement that seeks to enhance food security and hunger relief efforts. We engage in direct volunteerism via SNAP clinics, food drives, and development of projects and partnerships with such organizations as Foodlink and the Backpack Lunches for Kids Program. We also seek to educate ourselves about food security issues via weekly presentations during our meetings and speaker events.
Above:Two of our founders, Lilly Perry (left) and Stephanie Allen (right), tabling at the 2015 Volunteer Fair
We are devoted to providing underserved members of the community with the means to fill their most basic need - namely the need to eat. Although our society has progressed and developed to a point where many of us can enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle, the inequality of opportunities for betterment has left many people behind the national standard. Within our own locality, many struggle to feed themselves and their families. We believe that no human being should be left to starve when so many of us have so much, 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 plan to focus on local efforts to eradicate hunger, but we also will not forget about the larger national and global issues of food security.
In keeping with the mission of the college, we aim to further the social responsibility that SUNY Geneseo works so hard to cultivate among its students and 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 to various efforts combating said issues with our time, ideas, and hard work.
- 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.
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 will send 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.
Volunteer Opportunities: We appreciate your donations! You can donate individual food items* or cases/boxes of food items. Please drop off food items in CU 353 and specify that your donation is for the Backpack Lunch Program. You can also help us pack the bags for the program by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest.*Food items in need: PB&J crackers, cheese & crackers, fruit cups, applesauce, granola bars, trail mix, spaghettios, breakfast bars, individual cereal boxes, juice boxes
End-of-Semester Food Drives
We coordinate with Student Life to hold massive nonperishable collections for a couple weeks at the end of each semester. We supply cardboard boxes marked with the Backpack Lunches for Kids logo, which are kept in and around the lobbies of residence halls on campus so that students may conveniently donate leftover food before leaving their dorms for the semester.
At these events, we pre-screen people for SNAP (Food Stamp) eligibility using a standard form. Volunteers must undergo training to participate in this project, but it isn't hard once you have some practice. Send an email if you are interested in getting involved with this effort!
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.
As a group, we frequently sign up for relevant service opportunities together and carpool when necessary to afford members the chance to do frequent work with the issues they are so passionate about. This includes frequent trips to Foodlink, a food bank in Rochester, where we help to organize and sort donations.
...and many more. At any given time we have a number of peripheral connections to other projects on and off campus--we are a very busy club!
We are currently scheduling backpack program drop offs. We also collaborate to run a hunger banquet in the Spring semester. We will always take donations of non-perishable food and will be collecting food for our semester end food drive in March and April.
E-board and Contact Information
- Co-chair: Robbie Economou, email@example.com
- Co-chair: Ashley Sanchez, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Secretary: Anthony Miraglia, email@example.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook page: Food Security Advocates, SUNY Geneseo
- Office Hours: Coming soon
- Group Meeting Times: Tuesdays from 5:30 - 6:30, College Union 330 -- All are welcome!