Food insecurity is an issue not many realize affects college campuses. With little money to spare after loans, some students struggle to find a meal better than ramen.
The UW Campus Food Shed tries to help by providing free canned food and produce for all members of the university.
The student organization was started in 2017 by Hayden DePorter, with goals of addressing food insecurity and waste. With the help of faculty, DePorter earned a grant of $5,000 from the Kemper K. Knapp Bequest and used the money to buy refrigerators and other resources.
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They provide healthy and nutritious options for people who can’t afford them in stores. Whether fresh or canned, the Campus Food Shed offers multiple locations to get free and easily accessible consumables.
Along with their selection, the group researches produce and looks for sustainable ways to fill their fridges. The Campus Food Shed strives to decrease food waste and often saves adequate products from the dumpster.
They’re supplied by the student-run F.H. King Farm and research farms, who give them surplus crops from their harvests.
The Campus Food Shed also partners with The Food Recovery Network and The Campus Kitchen (UW-Chapters) and accepts donations from anyone interested.
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To access the food shed’s offerings, simply go to their website and click on “Find a Fridge!” If you scroll down, they list their locations on campus with up-to-date details on Facebook and Instagram.
During the academic year, the Student Activity Center (SAC, 3rd Floor) on East Campus Mall has the longest hours, open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a few exceptions.
The location at Moore Hall (2nd floor, near loading dock) is open on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and then 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A participant simply walks into the area and opens the fridge, brimming with produce, and takes what they’d like. Sometimes, the Campus Food Shed has a laundry bin filled with bread loaves and other dry goods that are also available to grab.
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If you’re interested in joining, request to join the CFS volunteer Facebook group and subscribe to their email list. From there, you’ll receive more information on meetings, programs and volunteer opportunities.
While food insecurity still haunts some students, the Campus Food Shed works to put a dent in the problem that feeds on those struggling on campus.