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Recommendations for the 2021 University of Wyoming Student Food (In)security Summit

Morshead, Nicole
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Food insecurity, defined by the USDA as a lack of consistent food to live a healthy life, affects University of Wyoming students at a rate of around 37%-45% based on recent surveys. Building from a 2020 Campus Sustainability course project, the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice hosted the UW Food (In)security Summit in April of 2021, led by the UW Food Security Taskforce and the Sustainability Coalition. The summit gathered, educated, and engaged the UW community about food insecurity to obtain feedback on current food security strategies at UW. This honors thesis focuses on interpreting the feedback provided by around 60 summit participants and developing recommendations for current and future food security efforts at UW. The data from this summit includes assessments of each strategy employed by the UW Food Security Taskforce based on anonymous rankings and responses to questions and small-group question responses and commentary. Results demonstrate that participants’ top student food security strategy at UW is the implementation of a subsidized and centralized grocery store on campus. Next was “meal swipe” sharing, recovering food from on-campus events, growing food at ACRES Student Farm, and, finally, expanding food share cabinets. My project provides concrete recommendations for the UW Food Security Taskforce to promote increased UW support for equitable and dignified access to food for all students. This student-initiated approach to food security strategies and student feedback on their own needs provides an important food security model rooted in justice for other colleges and universities to adapt.
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Keywords
food security , student food insecurity , food justice , college food insecurity
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