Fighting Food Insecurity at Catholic U
CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA Member Kara Feidelseit, serving at Catholic University of America Campus Ministry’s Food Pantry found that 40% of respondents to a recent survey have “not eat[en] for a whole day because there was not enough money or food.”
Feidelseit fights food insecurity by promoting campus food pantries, destigmatizing hunger through education, and developing new partnerships to increase access. On Mother Teresa Day of Service, she spoke to over 750 students and faculty members about food insecurity and upcoming pop-up pantries, one of which recently provided over 168 pounds of food to community members.
In just a few months, Feidelseit’s impact can already be seen. She has partnered with local sororities like Iota Iota to collect non-food items for the pantry and meets with campus residents at events like Coffee and Conversation held in dorms.
For Feidelseit, this still isn’t enough. “One possibility [that more students aren’t coming to the pantry] is that students are still wary because of stigma or embarrassment. So, I will need to continue to work hard to combat that.” In her commitment to fighting hunger, Feidelseit will be speaking at an upcoming campus sustainability tour on October 16th.
The United States is tied for third place on the Global Food Security Index, yet the USDA estimated that 1 in 8 Americans, 40 million people, did not have access to a sufficient and regular supply of nutritious and safe food in 2017.
Food insecurity is closely linked to poverty as well as other issues, such as affordable housing, social isolation, unemployment or underemployment, food deserts, and a lack of transportation. Most at risk are children, seniors, minorities, and rural communities.