There are a lot of ways that we can all be addressing food insecurity, either individually, or via organizations. Recently, D’Youville teamed up with the African Heritage Co-Op, to ensure that all of its students have access to healthy foods. It did this by creating a “Fresh Packs” program, where students can either purchase healthy foods from the Co-Op, or D’Youville will pick up the tab for students that can’t afford it.
“With the Fresh Packs, students are able to easily access food that is fresh, healthy, and nutritious,” says NiK Peavy, director of student development and advocacy, coordinates the Fresh Packs program. “In addition, D’Youville can inject funds into the West Side and support a Black-owned business by partnering with the African Heritage Co-Op.”
The Co-Op supplies the produce as well as staff to help hand out the Fresh Packs.
“We hope that many students take advantage of this opportunity,” says Alexander J. Wright, JD, who has run the African Heritage Food Co-Op for five years. “It’s important for everyone to have access to affordable, healthy food. This includes those pursuing higher education who often have limited resources.”
The new Fresh Packs program is made possible thanks to D’Youville’s Student Advocacy Center – ‘The Park.’
“For several years, D’Youville has run its own Campus Cupboard, which offers nonperishable food and personal items to students in need,” Peavy says. “With the Fresh Packs program, we can now offer fresh options, which are often difficult to find outside of a trip to the grocery store.”
Recent studies show that 40% of college students have reported being food-insecure at some point during the school year, according to D’Youville. If students are not sufficiently nourished, then they’re not properly learning. The Fresh Packs program is not only timely, it’s imperative, by giving all students equal access to healthy food options that allow them to fuel up on ‘fresh fixes’ before hitting the books.
Students can place orders by noon each Wednesday and pick up their Fresh Packs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays at The Park, D’Youville’s Student Advocacy Center. To learn more about the Fresh Packs program, contact Peavy at 716-829-7812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lead image: Photo by Antor Paul