Your support helps address food insecurity and foster healthy eating habits
The UTRGV Campus Food Security Initiative (CFSI) was established in April 2020 to address food insecurity on campus by creating easy access to locally grown fresh produce and plant-based food. By December 2020, this initiative had served close to 3500 people through weekly bags of produce and freshly prepared meals at the pay-what-you-feel pricing model, which removed the stigma attached to food insecurity and created easy access to locally-grown and sourced food. Close to 58% of the people served were students.
CFSI is a student-centered and student-driven initiative with embedded professional skills development and experiential learning opportunities for students through on-campus employment.
The CFSI food research student team, under the direction of a highly experienced culinary specialist, experiment and create nutritious and delicious plant-based food at the CFSI research kitchen. The CFSI food promotions student team, under the supervision of dedicated staff, works collaboratively to develop strategies to promote CFSI activities on social media platforms and engage the campus community meaningfully. Working in a nurturing and goal-oriented environment provides many opportunities for student employees to hone their soft and technical skills while attending college.
Since 2021, most of CFSI efforts have been focused on building a strong network of institutional stakeholders who support sustainable food systems. The CFSI team coordinates biweekly meetings attended by representatives from the campus food pantry, campus community garden, university’s farm, Student Government Association (SGA), and faculty and staff with expertise in food, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, to discuss best practice ideas and to support activities spearheaded by the CFSI team. These activities include harvesting events, immersive experiences for student organizations, fundraising opportunities through farm-to-fork meal preparation that leads to experiential learning as well as build financial equity for student organizations, and Wellness Wednesday Food Demonstrations at the University Recreation Center. Collectively, we are addressing food insecurity on campus in the most innovative way while promoting local farmers and a healthy lifestyle.
This initiative is primarily supported by student fee advisory committee (SFAC) funds and generous donors like you.
Visit the CFSI website to learn more about this initiative.