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Chartwells Higher Education, a recognized leader in contract food service management, is creating innovative solutions to fight food insecurity at more than 280 campuses across the nation. A brand new food insecurity feature of their Dine on Campus mobile app is just one of the tools the organization is using to help those in need.
A 2016 report, Hunger on Campus, estimates as many as 44 percent of students on campus are food insecure and do not have adequate access to healthy, regular meals.
“We understand that food insecurity persists despite students receiving other conventional support such as financial aid, campus food programs and even employment,” Chartwells Higher Education Vice President of Sustainability and Culinary Services, Laura Lapp said. “We also understand that students who don’t have adequate access to quality food must make difficult decisions daily that can potentially impact the student’s education and their future.”
Chartwells High Education supports additional opportunities to provide access to quality food sources and reduce food waste through the addition of food pantries, food recovery programs, community gardens and farmers markets, and the creation of meal donation programs. Partnerships with campus food pantries exist to donate pre-portioned edible leftover meals or expiring food inventory. With the help of technology, such as the Dine on Campus mobile app, Chartwells is exploring confidential ways to communicate to food insecure students when catering events have leftover meals.
Here are a few examples of specific initiatives developed at universities across the country to address food insecurity.
• The Food Warrior Campaign at University of North Carolina at Asheville helped students reduce food waste by nearly 22 percent below the baseline. Educational events across the campus included Low Carbon Dining and How to Preserve Food Properly. Food Connection, a local nonprofit, taught srudents how to receover food to feed hungry community members. These efforts resulted in more than 200 pounds of donated nonperishable food to the campus food pantry.
• The 49ers Give Campaign at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte gave students the option to use $49 of their declining balance from their meal plans to make a contribution to the student food pantry on campus. These donations, and those generated from funds that would not roll over at semester end, as well as cash and credit donations, were used to purchase food for students in need.
• Beginning Spring 2019, students who frequent the on-campus food pantry at San Jose State University, along with several other campuses, will be able to sign up for food insecurity notifications from Chartwells Dine on Campus mobile app. This feature will offer food insecure students the ability to receive notifications from dining services where there is additional food available to them on campus.
The November issue of Chartwells newsletter features additional examples of giving, community and kindness happening on campuses across the nation.
Chartwells Higher Education works alongside its partners and campuses to reinvent the dining experience helping students take charge of their nutrition and overall wellness. The programs are designed to bring people together for meaningful lifestyles and lasting relationships.
About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services
Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and award-winning guest service within 280 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells’ nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com,