Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.56
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Rams Against Hunger

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

More than 2,800 CSU students (nearly 10% of the student population) experience food insecurity. Nearly three quarters of these students are first generation students and/or students of color with families living in poverty. Rams Against Hunger is a program that was developed from an economic, social justice, and environmental lens to provide healthy and nutritious meals to CSU students who don't know where their next meal will come from. This model is innovative and unique in that it provides 75 meals per semester on a student's ID card so they can swipe into any dining center on campus to enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat, well-balanced meal without the stigma of waiting in line or having to ask for a discounted meal at the meal check station. This model is also a more healthy and sustainable choice as students have access to fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and local products in the dining centers rather than relying on the heavily-processed foods or to-go foods that are often inexpensive enough for students with food insecurity to depend on. Rams Against Hunger is funded by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of CSU donors. The program launched in 2015, serving 33 students in the first semester to over 300 applications by January 2017, when $40,000 was raised to support the program for one semester.

In an effort to continually innovate, a mobile food pantry with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, and whole grains has been added as a pilot program in 2017 in partnership with the Food Bank for Larimer County. The food boxes have a focus on whole foods with local and organic items included when possible. Any person with a CSU ID (student, staff, or faculty member) is eligible to receive a box with up to 50 pounds of food. By having a mobile food truck visit campus rather than a permanent food pantry, some of the stigma is removed by parking in a discreet location and having the truck present only when food boxes are being handed out rather than recipients having to line up at a public location on campus. This approach is new and innovative for both CSU and the Food Bank for Larimer County.

Recipients can choose the meal cards or the food box to allow flexibility and to best fit their lifestyle. The meal card program has been well-received by students experiencing food insecurity and Institutional Research has demonstrated that participating students have a higher GPA and are more likely to be retained by the University than students with similar demographics who do not participate in the program (a synopsis of the research study is attached).

Rams Against Hunger directly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition. Multiple links with success stories, the donation page, data collection, and background information is provided below along with a poster announcing the new mobile food pantry.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Food & Dining
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.