The College of DuPage hosts the Higher Education Food Security Summit on April 22
As part of its ongoing efforts to position itself as a leader in addressing food insecurity on college campuses across the state, the College of DuPage at Glen Ellyn will be hosting a Virtual Food Security Summit in the day-long higher education event bringing together subject matter experts to explore advocacy, policy change and initiatives to ensure hunger is not a barrier to student success.
The summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, April 22, via Zoom.
Register by Friday, April 8 for a $25 fee and by Friday, April 15 for a $40 fee. College students can participate for free. Sign up at whova.com/web/hefss_202203/.
“Participants will commit to identifying practices they can implement at their institutions to provide support, resources and referrals that reduce hunger as a stressor for students,” said Diana Del Rosario. , COD Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.
After a welcome from Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, representatives from the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, and Swipe Out Hunger will provide background on how the colleges can respond from a policy and service perspective to the needs of students struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Additionally, students and faculty from various higher education institutions across the country will share how to advocate for food security and basic needs across campus.
Prior to the pandemic, Students Against Hunger reports that 30% of all students experienced food insecurity at some point in their college career.
According to the most recent Hope Center survey from fall 2020, 38% of two-year college students reported experiencing food insecurity in the past 30 days.
As the pandemic has shed even more light on the importance of eliminating food insecurity as a barrier to student success, COD has a long history of addressing student hunger through various on-campus initiatives and community partnerships, said Shannon Hernandez, COD Fuel Pantry manager.
“Thanks to COD’s Fuel Pantry and Fuel Garden, as well as established partnerships with community organizations, we were able to quickly adapt and meet the needs of an increased customer base during the pandemic,” she said. “Last year we had an influx of individual customers, many of whom brought food to their families.
“We’ve expanded our pantry offerings to allow students to prepare larger meals at home, and we’ve also upgraded to an online ordering and curbside pickup model that makes it easier to access. students and allows them to shop stigma-free if that’s an issue,” Hernandez said. “We are constantly adapting to meet the needs of our students and will continue to do so in the future.”
College of DuPage is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, the College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college awards seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 vocational and technical certificates in more than 50 fields of study.