Tag: Clare Cady

Get Involved

CUFBA is looking for individuals, organizations, and schools to join us as we seek to end hunger among college students. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Join: any college or university seeking to end student hunger may join CUFBA and benefit from its resources and network. To join click HERE
  • Donate: donations to CUFBA are used to support the work of the organization, its members, and students. Donations go through our partner organization, Believe in Students Inc. To donate email clare.cady@temple.edu
  • Partner: we are always looking for partners whose mission and goals align with ours. To connect email us at cufbanational@gmail.com 

Help us ensure that all students’ basic needs are met so they can pursue a quality education.


Originally published by Clare Cady June 14, 2017

CUFBA to Join Temple University HOPE Center

Greetings CUFBA members,

We hope that you are all well and that your quarters or semesters are going along smoothly. As spring approaches we know that things can get hectic, and are wishing you some opportunities to rest and rejuvenate as you work in service to students. Care for ourselves is what makes it possible for us to care for others.

Speaking of care, as you all know through the past 5 years CUFBA has grown immensely due to the care of our amazing leadership team, Nate, Brandon, Sonal and Clare. This year we estimate we will reach 500 member institutions, and already we are above 450. This is A LOT of care, and it is also a lot of work – work we are happy to do, and work that requires a longer-term sustainability plan.

In the 10-year plan for CUFBA we set a goal to move the organization toward sustainable independence and increased capacity. Initially we thought that creating a 501©3 nonprofit organization would be the direction we took, but it has proven challenging. Recently we have explored options for a strong partnership with another organization whose mission matches ours – and we have found such a partnership as we enter into 2017.

We are pleased to let you know that we will be combining forces with the HOPE Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University. The HOPE Center will open in 2018, and is the newest project spearheaded by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple, and founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. The HOPE Center will build upon the work of the HOPE Lab, engaging in translational research that evaluates and elevates practice and policy to improve college access and completion for our most vulnerable populations. CUFBA will be joining this effort in name, mission, work, and through the hiring of one of our Founding Directors, Clare Cady, who will be serving as Director of Community Engagement.

What does this mean for you, our members? As we vision into the future we are setting goals to:

  • Increase access to resources for colleges and universities to address student food insecurity

  • Develop research to better understand the impacts of campus pantries and other food insecurity interventions

  • Curate and share best practices in campus pantries and other food insecurity interventions, and

  • Develop and support spaces (regional and national) where practitioners and policy makers can convene to learn, partner, and engage in positive change

In the meantime, we at CUFBA will continue to offer our monthly newsletter and updates, connect members to one another for intra-collaboration, and continue to share best practices and resources most pertinent to our collective work. Our team will continue to be responsive to our members’ needs and look forward to growing in that capacity

In short, we are HOPE-ing to move forward with more offerings to increase the capacity of our members and elevate the conversation around student food insecurity across the national (and international) stage. Please be on the lookout for changes around our website, communications, and opportunities to volunteer. We will work to ensure you are up to date and able to benefit from what is to come.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to hear and to answer. You can reach Clare at clare.cady@temple.edu


All the best to you all in service. Remember, HOPE is a strategy.

Your CUFBA Leadership Team


Nate Smith-Tyge

Clare Cady

Brandon Mathews

Sonal Chauhan

Originally published by Clare Cady March 23, 2017

New Report on Student Hunger and Homelessness

The Wisconsin HOPE Lab put out a new report on student hunger and homelessness. Among the highlights are:

– The study was conducted at 70 community colleges in 24 states


– One in three community college students are hungry

– 14% of them are homeless

Check out the full report in the link below.



Originally published by Clare Cady March 23, 2017

CUFBA Hits 400 Members

It’s been an historic week for us at CUFBA as we welcomed our 399th and 400th members to our network. Our 400th, Klemi’s Kitchen at Georgia Tech, were officially welcomed on Wednesday night by our Associate Director Sonal Chauhan. Incidentally we welcomed another amazing team member this week – Grace Evelyn Smith-Tyge joined us on the same day. We are so excited for you and your family Nate!

Reaching 400 members and the closing of 2016 has me reflecting on the nature of our work, its success, and the future of CUFBA. Not only did we reach this all-time high in membership, but published our first research in the report Hunger on Campus in partnership with the SGRC, Student PIRGS, and NCSAHH. Special thanks to Associate Director Brandon Mathews for his great work on shepherding this project in collaboration with James Dubick and myself. We can be extremely proud of this years’ accomplishments, which have received ongoing press coverage and attention – which we see less as win for CUFBA, and more for students whose needs are closer to being met.

It is bittersweet, this year of accomplishments, mostly because were students not at such risk of food insecurity there would be no need for organizations such as CUFBA and our partners (Swipe Out HungerThe Campus Kitchens Project, the Wisconsin HOPE LabShare MealsFood Recovery Network, and many more). I think we would all love to see a world where our work is no longer needed, where writing books like Paying the Price or the creation of new orgs like the FAST Fund are not even necessary because students are cared for and supported in the ways they require. Sadly they are, so we keep creating, growing, serving, and truth-telling until students are no longer food insecure. As we look into the future of the US we worry that things may get worse before they get better.

Speaking of the future, we at CUFBA are looking into 2017 with an ambitious eye. Earlier this year we made some adjustments to our mission and strategic plan that allow us some wiggle room we have not had. We have forged a deeper partnership with NASPA to bring light to these issues and possible solutions. Be on the lookout for the second Closing the Achievement Gap conference, in which I will be playing a formative role. We are continuing to ask critical questions that require inquiry. We are hoping to be a part of new research in the new year. Finally, we are expanding our work to include other interventions beyond that of the campus pantry. This will be minimal compared to our current work, but we have seen an increasing need from our members to brainstorm longer term, proactive solutions to alleviating student food insecurity. We realize that while meeting the immediate needs of students in crisis is a critical start to supporting them, stopping at that is the equivalent (as I have been quoted many times saying) putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. We need not only to meet students’ immediate needs, but to help them gain the stability that leads to persistence and completion. Through partnerships and innovation we hope that this will be a place where we can support and/or offer solutions.

I want to say again a special thank you to the CUFBA team, Co-Founder and Co-Director Nate Smith-Tyge, Associate Director Brandon Mathews, and Associate Director Sonal Chauhan. It is a tremendous privilege to work with these folks, and without them CUFBA would not be what it is today. I do not know if you are aware, but we are an all-volunteer organization…so these folks do this in their spare time. I think that is a testament to their commitment and the power of their contributions. Finally thanks to our members. We provide support yes, but it is our members who do the heavy lifting, the strategic planning, the grant writing, the donor relating – all the things that result in students getting what they need and deserve.

All the best to you all.



Originally published by Clare Cady December 9, 2016

Talking to the Press


The issue of food insecurity among college students gets a great deal of media attention. Here at CUFBA we get inquiries weekly for print, radio, and TV (not as much TV, but we have gotten some of those). Here are some tips for you as you negotiate press coverage:

– Your school likely has a press policy. You should know it. Meet the folks who manage press on your campus and find out what they expect of you.

– Check backgrounds. Not all media is created equal, and there are press folks out there who do not believe we should be doing what we are doing. When someone contacts you, google them before you respond. Make sure it is a publication or media outlet that you want to be in. This can be hard if they get you on the phone. Here’s what you can say: “thank you for being in touch. It is the press policy at [school name] that we need to check in before we give quotes. Can I call you back?”

– Have stock photos available to share. Make sure the people who are in them have signed a release that you can give them out.

– We do not recommend allowing the press to come to your distributions. It can create an uncomfortable environment for the students you serve. If you do choose to do this please be sure that every student knows they have the right to refuse to be a part of the coverage, or that they can be a part but anonymous.

– When you do get press coverage CELEBRATE. Share it widely, and send it to us. We will post it on the CUFBA website. It’s great that you get recognized for what you do. Email us at cufbanational@gmail.com


Originally published by Clare Cady October 2, 2015

Summertime Donations

If you run year-round there are some unique opportunities that come in the summer – particularly if you are in a part of the country where winters are not a growing season. This time of year we see fresh produce more readily available, and in many of our communities we see Farmers’ Markets. Here are a few tips on getting some fresh goods to the students you serve.


  • Request a CSA: This stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and means that people pay farmers in advance for a food box (usually weekly) throughout the growing season that offers a variety of seasonal fruits and veggies (and sometimes meats and eggs). It is not uncommon that farmers will donate a weekly box to a local organization. While it may be too late this year (farmers often plan this in the mid to late winter) it is never too late to ask.
  • Farmers’ Markets: It is common that farmers do not want to take their produce home with them at the end of the day. Check in to see if they would be willing to give you what they don’t sell.
  • Community Gardens: People often end up with a glut of something that grows really well that year. If you have a community garden near you it may be a great idea to hang a flier there with information on how to donate.
  • Gleaning: There are a great number of gleaning programs where individuals pick fruits and veggies for local organizations. Often the deal is they get to keep half and donate the other half. Check to see if there are any of these programs in your area and ask to be on the donation list.
  • Classes: Are there courses on your campus that focus on things like organic farming, seed research, or other topics in which the class is going to grow edibles? Contact the professor. Often times what is grown is either donated or left to rot. Makes sense that it gets donated to you!


Originally published by Clare Cady June 15, 2015

VCU RamPantry Founder Honored


Virginia Commonwealth University RamPantry Founder Terrence Walker has been honored with Gov. McAuliffe’s Public Service Award for his work in creating the pantry. Walker helped develop a practical solution to support the needs of a segment of VCU’s student population.  After conducting a survey that revealed 57 percent of respondents were not sure each day where they would get their next meal, a statistic comparable to that for other U.S. colleges and universities, Mr. Walker started the “Ram Pantry.”  Mr. Walker, an administrative assistant for University Counseling Services, worked with others to secure space, tools and equipment with little to no money for start-up costs.  By January 2014, the pantry was staffed and running as a student organization, with Mr. Walker serving as the staff liaison.  In a year’s time, the Ram Pantry served more than 1,800 students, faculty and staff.  The students running the Ram Pantry have now partnered with Food Lion grocery stores and other vendors to keep pantry shelves stocked.  Senior executives from Food Lion have been so impressed that they have asked VCU to serve as a model for universities near the company’s North Carolina headquarters.


We are so proud of you and your work Terrence!


Originally published by Clare Cady May 26, 2015

Training Volunteers

Most campus food banks or pantries would not be successful if it were not for the support of a strong volunteer base. Even if there are paid staff, volunteers are usually the heart of any hunger relief organization. Since we are here for our students who are experiencing food insecurity, we need to develop our volunteer force so we can create the most positive and comfortable experience possible.

  • If you are not doing a training for your volunteers you are doing both them and the students you serve a disservice. They are the customers and you are the customer service agents. If you have ever gotten bad service I imagine that this metaphor drives that point home.
  • Be sure to include in your training:
    • A big THANK YOU
    • Food safety – any policies and/or procedures you have, and any you have to follow.
    • Emotional safety – this includes confidentiality and how to create comfort for the student while they utilize your food bank or pantry.
    • Any other safety concerns you may have.
    • Full orientation to your space, policies, and procedures.
  • Other training topics that could be useful:
    • What to do in case of an emergency
    • What to do if there are grievances
    • How to repack foods
  • There are a number of ways to give your training. Here are a few we know work:
    • One on one meetings with staff and volunteers.
    • Group sessions
    • Powerpoint self-guided training with a staff check-in
    • Manuals
    • Other ideas that we have not seen: websites, YouTube Videos
  • Here is a link to the pantry training Powerpoint from Oregon State. This is done in combination with a food safety video, a short quiz, and a full tour and orientation to the pantry space: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6x4gTIjTE0ATnh2TlFkSUt2Yms/view?usp=sharing

Originally published by Clare Cady May 19, 2015