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 Pantry Delivery Program
If you are a student in need of food assistance, you can receive a delivered set of bags from the local Geneseo Groveland Emergency Food Pantry for you and your roommates. All students are eligible for this program (including on-campus, off-campus, and commuter students), and can receive 1-2 sets of bags per month. We encourage all students dealing with food insecurity in any way to utilize this program. We are currently not doing the food pantry delivery program due to it being the end of the semester, and encourage students who will be in Geneseo over the summer to utilize the Geneseo Groveland Food Pantry. Keep an eye out for updates on how our food assistance programs will be updated going forward!
Alternatively, students may access the Geneseo Groveland Emergency Food Pantry directly at 31 Center St. (the lower level of Central Presbyterian Church), Geneseo. 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.
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
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: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10 AM - 2 PM and Wednesdays: 4 PM - 6:30 PM. 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.
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.
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.
Due to the pandemic, our in-person volunteering events are limited. We are having students help us with our Food Pantry Delivery program 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.