Food Justice Programs Promote Food Security

A position as a Food Justice Programs Assistant is available at University of Puget Sound.

“Both positions are new to the University, so a lot of our work involves setting the tone for an officially supported role in food justice, with succession and project sustainability in mind,”  current Food Justice Programs Coordinator Renee Meschi said.

Food Justice Programs Assistant oversees two existing food justice food programs: Food Salvage and Backpacks of Hope. Food Salvage donates unsold food from the S.U.B. to the halfway housing, Guadalupe House and New Phoebe House, a women’s shelter.

Backpacks of Hope is the campus link to St. Leo’s Backpacks program, which provides food over the weekends to students who are at risk fof hunger or who receive federal lunch assistance in Tacoma public schools.

“These programs are important community connections that offer valuable volunteer opportunities for Puget Sound students,” Meschi said. “The Food Justice Programs Assistant works 10-12 hours per week organizing campus volunteers for volunteering sessions. Coordinating reliable transportation, connecting to Guadalupe House and New Phoebe House staff, and keeping track of metrics so we can gauge our impact are all important parts of the job.”

The Food Justice Programs also address food security, which means access to sufficient amounts of food and nutrition as well as culturally appropriate food. It also aims to address the politics of uneven food distribution and social programs such as SNAP benefits.

Not only does CICE aim to link food justice on campus to the greater Tacoma community, but also focuses on the continuing food security and justice at Puget Sound. Solutions such as anonymously pooling Dining Dollars together for students in need could be created to help accommodate a greater socioeconomic diversity on campus.

Students with a passion for food justice issues as well as the relationship between the environment and our food are encouraged to apply, especially those with a vision for a more cohesive food system on and off campus.