Spreading the Word About Food Insecurity

Food insecurity in colleges wasn’t something I had thought about much (well, honestly, at all) before my time here. But as I went through a lecture on it yesterday and went to “The Market” today, I was able to realize how severe the issue was and what I could do to solve this problem. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting to see when I arrived at the market, which is the only provisional food pantry set up within campus, but what I saw sure did surprise me. Like many of my friends, the abundance of fresh and healthy food there shocked me. In hindsight, I now see how these preconceptions and biases that we had around food pantries and those in need of these facilities create social stigma and prevent them from accomplishing their goals. In fact, one of the most important lessons that I learned during my time at the market packing pasta, fruit, beans, tomatoes, cereal, bagels, and so much more is that fighting against norms associated with food banks and pantries is crucial for solving food insecurity. After all the food was organized in paper bags, Kas asked us what we could do in our own communities to further efforts like the market of VT locally, and I really didn’t have an answer, which made me ashamed quite a bit. Well, I’m proud to say that I’m now part of our neighborhood food drive program organized by one of my friends. What I learned today was truly enlightening, and I hope I’ll be able to spread the word just like Kas did one day.

-js

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