College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Nutrition & Food Science

Dietetics Majors Help Fight Hunger with Community Food Bank

Campus-wide food bank initiative kicks off this fall
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Study Magazine

Dietetic majors in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are doing their part to help ensure that no university student or faculty member goes hungry.

“Many upperclassmen live on or near campus, but there's no grocery store in walking distance,” Sarah Goff, senior dietetics major and president of the Food and Nutrition Club, said. “It can be extremely difficult and costly to pay for transportation to the grocery store, and just paying for college is expensive--some students end up taking out of their food budget.”

That’s why the University Health Center, Dining Services, and volunteers from the student Food and Nutrition Club have worked to organize a food bank for the UMD community.

“It’s great for all of the people in need,” Leah Cranmer, senior dietetics major and Community Outreach Officer for the Food and Nutrition Club, said. “Obviously, there are a lot of people outside of the UMD community who are in need of services like this, but it’s important to recognize that there are many people right here in our own community who can really benefit from this great new resource.”

Food distributions will begin on October 22nd in Cole Field House and will continue to take place alternatingly one Wednesday and one Thursday every month. Anyone is welcome, and food will be distributed based upon the needs of the individual and their number of dependents.

“After taking several classes where food insecurity is discussed, it really brought to my attention how prevalent it is,” Cranmer said. “It is a huge contributor to bad health, which makes sense- if you can’t access the resources, you can never use them.”

“I think it’s important for people to know that A) these wonderful resources are available, and B)it is a completely confidential process, so we want people to feel comfortable and excited about this opportunity,” Cranmer added.

Reusable, pre-packaged food bags will contain as many nutritious food groups as possible and produce grown at the university’s new Terp Farm will soon start donating vegetables to the food bank. Organizers hope to get other nearby farmers involved as well.

It's great to be able to work on a project like this because it helps me to better understand the community and food security, so I can better understand the role nutrition plays in many people's lives,” said Goff.

Non-perishable donations can be dropped off in Cole Field House on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“I hope that everyone can learn that there’s always room to help people,” Cranmer said. “I’m sure many people on campus would not think that there are people who can really use this. There’s always room to learn more about our community, our health, and how we can help.”

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