UArizona Nursing Partners with Campus Pantry to Combat Student Food Insecurity

Nov. 21, 2019

On average, one in three college students experience food insecurity at some point in their academic career. To keep these damaging statistics at bay, the University of Arizona College of Nursing partners with the UArizona Campus Pantry to help prevent students from suffering from food insecurity.

UArizona Nursing Academic Success Coach Debora Nesbitt coordinates with the Campus Pantry to make students in need get the food that will help fuel their academic efforts. With Thanksgiving approaching, food is front and foremost on many people’s minds, which only heightens the need to address food insecurity before it takes a toll.

“We no longer have an actual pantry on site, but instead when the need is identified I secure a bag from the UA Pantry to immediately give to the student,” says Nesbitt, who has a bag of goods on hand at all times.  “At the beginning of the semester, students are given my contact information for a confidential way to share with me their need for a bag of groceries.  In addition, UArizona and local food bank information is given and included in the bag of groceries.”

Nesbitt also oversees the College’s apple and granola bar bowls project, yet another effort to make sure students have access to the nutrients they need to successfully pursue their studies.  The bowls are stocked daily in the nursing/OSAA office, and all students are invited to grab a snack anytime throughout the day.  “This way the stigmatizing barrier is overcome as it is normalized for all students to have access to the healthy snacks,” says Nesbitt.  “The apples and granola bars are donated by our generous faculty and staff.  The program has been a huge success.”

The Campus Pantry helps to reduce the troubling statistics by providing supplemental groceries to students, faculty and staff in need. Food insecurity looks different for all students. Sometimes it can be a lack of access to transportation, lack of financial resources or simply not having enough food to get by. The UA Campus Pantry was started in the spring of 2012, along with a small group of student volunteers with a passion for serving UArizona students and staff members. The UA Campus Pantry is committed to helping students and staff who experience food insecurity gain access to nutritional resources.

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For more information about UArizona Nursing’s resources, contact Debora Nesbitt.

From now until Dec. 11 Student Nurses of the University of Arizona is collaborating with UArizona Campus Pantry to host a food drive. A donation bin is located at the OSCE main office for donation drop-offs. Here is a list of items that the Pantry needs.