Tag: Tips

New from CUFBA – monthly toolkits!

We are working to adjust our offerings to include information about capacity-building, sustainability, and growth for our members who are already in operation. We know that while starting a campus pantry is hard, it is even harder to set that pantry up for ongoing success. Our goal is to put out new toolkits each month with best practices, ideas from members, and game plans for successful operations.

These will be included in the CUFBA newsletter, as well as posted on the Resources page. Here is a sample of what we are working on: the Food and Fund Raising Toolkit.

Yes, we know that’s technically a mis-spelling, but come on, we are trying to be fun and catchy ;)

Originally published by Clare Cady May 18, 2016

A New Addition to the CUFBA Resouces Tab

Check out the Resources Tab for a link to a resource guide for homeless and low income students from the website Money Geek.  There are some great tools and links in the guide that might be of use to your students.  The resource guide is authored by Sara Goldrick-Rab (Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Founding Director at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab) and Cyekeia Lee (Director of Higher Education Initiatives with the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)) and is full of helpful info – so please check it out!

Here’s the link (also available on the Resources Tab): Navigating College: The Resource Guide for Homeless and Low Income Students

Originally published by Nate-Smith Tyge May 4, 2016

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week 2015!

This week is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW), an annually recognized week during which members of communities across the nation join together as advocates participating in a social movement to resolve the root causes of homelessness and hunger.

A  number of  American higher education institutions recognize NHHAW through implementing high impact events on campus in an effort to bring awareness to the challenges that, not only do our neighbors in the community face, but also the same challenges that our very own students face, as a result of homelessness, hunger, and/or food insecurity.

As a proud, active food bank/pantry on your campus that is focused on alleviating food insecurity, hunger, and poverty, it is strongly suggested to support the national social activism movement that NHHAW represents through hosting intentional activities throughout this week, annually, in the following recommended ways:

– Serve as a host for Oxfam America Hunger Banquet to interactively bring the campus community’s attention to how, by luck of the draw, some individuals are born into prosperity and others into poverty. Resources and tool kit to host the event provided by Oxfam America: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/take-action/events/hunger-banquet/

– Plan and execute a panelist event for audience members to understand the challenges associated with individuals facing chronic hunger or food insecurity or those who transitioned out of the cycle of poverty.

– Wide spread, large scale campus community donation initiative in which the pantry/bank requests specific items in need to stock the facility and intensively markets where donation boxes will be place throughout campus for the entire week.

The fight against hunger needs to be ongoing, no doubt; however, intentionally participating in NHHAW educates the masses to join our social movement to alleviate hunger and food insecurity!

 

Originally published by Sonal Chauhan November 19, 2015

Talking to the Press

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

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

The Family-Friendly Pantry

At OSU we came across a significant barrier to services for our clients a few years back when we were told we were in violation of a policy in the kitchen where we held our distributions: no children under the age of 16 allowed.

This posed a serious issue for us because we serve such a large number of families, many of whom were single-parent/guardian households who needed to bring their kids with them because they could not afford child care for the time they were getting their food. We also worked hard to make our space and our practice family-friendly with kids’ snacks, toys, and videos that were good for all ages. We panicked a bit when we first heard the news – this would mean that many of those we served could not make it to get the food they so desperately needed to support their families while they sought their degree.

Fortunately for us we work on a campus where the climate is supportive of our service, and we were able to get a meeting with the folks who manage the kitchen space. We went in seeking to understand…why is this an issue? What can we do to meet the needs of all parties? We quickly learned that the policy was in place because of things like hot surfaces and sharp objects in the area. This WAS a kitchen after all. There were times even when there were people using the kitchen to support cultural events on campus while we were doing distributions. This was not ideal for anyone, but with space as much at a premium as it was, we had no choice but to share. We were able to voice our concerns about holding fast on the U-16 rule.

What we came to was an acceptable compromise in which children under the age of 16 were to be with their parent/guardian at all times, and if they were under 6 their parent/guardian would be holding their hand. We rewrote the policy and signed on the dotted line. After this we turned around and developed some internal policies and practices that help us to manage this rule, as well as create a space with an even greater sense of welcome to students with children:

  • We offer treats at the sign-in that volunteers give directly to the children (with parent/guardian permission of course). In doing this we get a moment where we can directly ask the child to stay close to their parent/guardian while they are there.
  • We learn children’s names. We found that this makes the family more open to complying with the rules.
  • We know where to bend the rules…in the waiting area we let the kids run free (or as free as they are allowed to be). When volunteers bring the family to the back and into the kitchen they remind everyone that they need to stick close.
  • We try to engage the children in the pantry process. Kids who are engaged in picking foods, talking with the volunteer have fun AND are less likely to stray away from the group.
  • Volunteers are always available to sit with kids while parent/guardian goes through the distribution. We have a break room space where the kids can hang with coloring books and toys. This space is visible to the parent, and we do not assume responsibility for the children…we just kick it with them within eye and earshot of family.

Having a family-friendly space is important, and if you take a few precautions and positive actions it is doable.

 

What do you do to ensure that families can access your services? Email us at cufbanational@gmail.com

Originally published by Clare Cady May 12, 2015

Fliers

Food Pantry Fliers 2014- 2015

We all do different kinds of outreach to let people know about our services, and many campus pantries use fliers. Here is an example of the flier we have used at Oregon State for years. We have done it both as a 1/2 sheet AND as a fridge magnet.

 

What do you do to get the word out? Send us your fliers, brochures, and other media so we can create an outreach collection on the site!

cufbanational@gmail.com

Originally published by Clare Cady May 5, 2015

Food Bank Newsletter Inspiration

Some of the CUFBA schools write newsletters that come out each month, or quarter, or semester. Newsletters are a great way to:

  • Share information about your work such as clients served, food distributed, volunteer hours, donations received, or other metrics.
  • Recognize your staff and/or volunteers.
  • Provide lists of food items or other supplies you need.
  • Offer other resources (beyond your services) to clients or community members.
  • Communicate updates such as changes in location, procedure, eligibility requirements, etc.
  • List distribution times and/or locations.
  • Help people learn how they can volunteer or donate.
  • Whatever else you can dream up.

Here is a great example of a pantry newsletter from Michigan State University.

Food Bank Newsletter 2014

Originally published by Clare Cady March 10, 2015