By: Julia Moreno
I first heard about Presidents United to Solve Hunger during an interview for another topic for the Publicity Center. I thought it was pretty interesting to have a free, anonymous food bank for students. I guess I never really knew just how many students face hunger, insecurities about food or homelessness on campus.
But it’s not really something that’s talked about in casual conversation, you know? When I think of what college students complain about, generally it’s homework, weekend plans or how hard a certain class is.
So when I decided to do more research I found that 6 to 7 percent of students on CWU’s campus face hunger, food insecurities and homelessness. That’s 700 students that don’t have food at night to eat. Kind of crazy right? I talked to Andrea Saavedra, VP of equity and community affairs for the ASCWU and she explained her role in it. Her goal when she was campaigning for the position was to connect PUSH with ASCWU related events. So she and the rest of the ASCWU officers pair up with PUSH and donate food to the food banks around campus. She’s really passionate about helping people in need so she’s really PUSH-ing (get it?) this topic and I think it’s great.
And you might wonder where the food banks are, currently there are six pick-up locations around campus:
- Center for Diversity & Social Justice – SURC 250/253
- Associated students of CWU office – SURC 236
- Bouillon Hall 204
- Hertz Hall 209
- Purser Hall 132 (outside)
- Black Hall 101
I think this program is fantastic. It’s really inspiring and frankly, heart-warming that the CWU campus cares so much about its students that free, anonymous food banks are around campus for anyone to take food if they’re hungry. I also talked to Katrina Whitney, assistant director of the CDSJ, and she told me that food insecurity is a social justice project that she and the student workers in the office are really interested in.
Her quote really stuck with me, she said: “We feel like any way we can create an environment where students feel safe, they feel they have their nutritional health taken care of as well as their psychological health then they are going to be academically successful.”
I believe it, food is really important and it’s important that the students here on campus are doing well. The PUSH initiative is one of the most genuine and coolest things we have on campus. And students should never feel ashamed for being hungry.
Another person who had a huge part in getting the ball rolling for PUSH is Mindie Dieu, interim executive director for the School of Education at CWU. She said she knows students who have talked to her about having to choose between paying for rent or buying food. She has peanut butter in her desk for students who just need a quick snack and she said she often buys a gift card for students out of her own pocket.
The people here at CWU are always willing to listen and to help in any way they can.
If you want to help students, you can donate! There are three drop-off locations:
- Brooks Library
- CDSJ – SURC 250/253
- CWU Foundation Office (off campus at 421 N. Main St.)
For more information, you can visit the website: www.cwu.edu/push