Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.09
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Iowa State University
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Merry Rankin
ISU Director of Sustainability
Facilities Planning & Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Addressing Food Insecurity at Iowa State University

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:

Iowa State University has taken several major steps in recent years to address campus and community food insecurity thanks to the collaborative efforts of its operations staff and student volunteers.

Iowa State Dining partners with the Iowa State Student Chapter of the Food Recovery network and the community-based Food at First free meal program and pantry to package and transport pre-consumer food waste to the Ames-based Food at First program location from its dining hall, cafe, C-store, and catering locations. As a result of these efforts, Food at First is able to serve 25,000 meals per year, while feeding another 40,000 via its food pantry. Free meals are served every day on a year-round basis, while the pantry is available three days per week.

Volunteers from the ISU Food Recovery Network student chapter and Food at First pick up unserved portions of dining entrees, along with snack items, such as fruit and baked goods, on a daily basis. Volunteers have also begun collecting leftover food from ISU Catering services on a twice-weekly basis, which is packaged and preserved by catering staff each night and held for pick up. In addition, volunteers collect leftover food and condiments from concessions operations after all home athletic events, as well as collect and deliver unused perishable ingredients from ISU Dining at the conclusion of each semester. Efforts have been impressive with 7,827 lbs. of food during the 2018-2019 academic year and 19,279 lbs. since the start of efforts in Fall of 2015.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, ISU Dining introduced the Give-A-Swipe initiative, a two-part initiative that aims to educate students about food insecurity among their peers while providing them the opportunity to donate a portion of their meal plan to those in need. Donations were accepted from January 28 thru February 2nd, with over 176 meals donated. ISU Dining collaborates with the Office of Student Assistance, Student Wellness, Financial Aid, International Students & Scholars, and Student Counseling Services to help identify students in need. Meals donated during donation week are available during the remainder of the semester and through the following academic year. To further aid students in need, ISU Dining is also in the final phases of achieving SNAP approval status.

Also in the past academic year, The Division of Student Affairs at Iowa State University partnered with Student Health and Wellness along with ISU Dining to launch a campaign to address food insecurity by providing resources and donations to students in need. Their efforts included the following:
1. A workgroup including representatives from Student Government, Student Health and Wellness, Office of the Senior Vice-President and Provost, Department of Residence, ISU Foundation, and Dean of Students Office, evaluated options for relocation and expansion of the campus Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) food pantry.
2. The Division of Student Affairs spearheaded a donation and awareness drive specifically targeting student food insecurity and encouraging staff donations to SHOP.
3. The ISU Foundation established a dedicated account to allow for public donations directly to SHOP.
4. Student Government sponsored the establishment of a permanent SHOP drop-off location within ISU’s Memorial Union.
5. Through partnership between SHOP and the Department of Residence a satellite food pantry location was established to serve students living in on-campus apartment communities.

Finally, ISU Student Health and Wellness added custom questions to their biannual participation survey in conjunction with the National College Health Assessment toward gathering specific and focused data on campus food security. Work is also in process to add screening questions related to food insecurity for health center and counseling intake screenings. In addition, ISU Student Health and Wellness also annually updates and provides a map of accessible and free-use microwaves available across the ISU campus and partnered with Department of Residence to collect unwanted microwaves during end of year move-out to offer additional microwave locations for the 2019-2020 academic year.

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

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:

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.