Food and housing insecurity are pervasive and universal human rights issues. The mission of the Food & Housing Equity Project is to combat food and housing insecurity and promote resource equity across campus through intersectional strategies that holistically assess and support the UConn student population.
We aim to tackle food and housing insecurity from all sides— through hands-on service projects in the field, mobilization of student voices and activism, awareness panels and events, legislative advocacy, on-campus donation drives, and innovative collaboration with other organizations.
The purpose of our campaign is to leave a lasting impact on the surrounding community through public advancement, student mobilization, comprehensive student support, and awareness for these fundamental issues.
In order to truly address hunger and homelessness in America, we need to face the realities of systemic issues which disadvantage communities of color. The Food & Housing Equity Project understands that resource inequity disproportionately affects marginalized populations, and we commit to finding and solving issues relating to food and housing injustice in order to profoundly uplift the UConncommunity.
The Food & Housing Equity Project seeks to amplify the voices of marginalized communities in order to understand their perspectives and implement programs that best serve their needs. We want to support, celebrate, and empower all UConn students through the promotion of inclusive food and housing. We believe that a community is only as strong as its weakest member, and we aim to embody this belief through our activism.
According to the United Nations, sustainability is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The Food & Housing Equity Project is committed to eco-friendliness and sustainability in all of our work, and we recognize that our commitment to sustainability has the potential to make a big difference. We hope we can inspire students, student organizations, and the UConn community to consider sustainable options.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Fill out the Campaign Intake Form in order to get involved as a volunteer or as an intern on our Spring 2022 campaign! Internships will be designated within the first three weeks of the semester.
Visit our Internships page to learn more about what our internships entail. Our Spring 2022 campaign currently has the following internships available (pictured above).
OUR CAMPAIGN WINS:
AWARENESS EVENTS - HUNGER & HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS WEEK 2021:
The Hunger & Homelessness Documentary showcases our campaign’s work during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, an annual recognition week where people come together across the country to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness through events around education, advocacy and service. Our H&H Campaign worked last semester to bring together the UConn community, raise awareness about issues of hunger and homelessness, and address how these issues are directly affecting UConn students.
Our campaign’s 2021 Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week consisted of:
- HopeFULL Food Drive – food collections donated to CT Foodshare in Wallingford, CT
- Spreading Warmth in Winter Donation Drive with Creating Caring Communities – 201 winter clothing donations given to the Holy Family Home & Shelter, Inc. in Willimantic, CT
- Afghanistan Refugee Crisis Panel - speakers Muad Hrezi, Steve Lane, and Ann O’Brien discussing their respective spheres and perspectives on the Afghanistan refugee crisis
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS - HUSKY MARKET:
Husky Market is a student-led, student-funded initiative spearheaded by the USG Food Insecurity Task Force and the UConn Praxis Hunger & Homelessness Campaign to fight food insecurity at UConn. We have also partnered with many on-campus organizations, such as Creating Caring Communities, NAACP, Minority Health Matters, and UCCO, as well our regional campuses.
Our program provides gift cards to students experiencing food insecurity. Husky Market Fall 2020 provided $300 in grocery store gift cards per student for 140 UConn Huskies. We have since expanded the program to accommodate 1000+ students with a $300,000 budget. The Husky Market team hopes to continue to tangibly provide resources through cross-campus collaborations and sustainable student support programs in the future.
LEGISLATIVE WORK - HUSKY VOICES:
We support pandemic, housing, food, and poverty relief bills that promote immediate aid and sustainable change in Connecticut. Our legislative work includes enhancing healthcare accessibility, unemployment relief, efforts to understand and rectify food insecurity on college campuses, and emergency mortgage assistance. We believe that equitable food, housing, and healthcare are human rights that should be protected and supported by public policies.
Lobbying is an opportunity to bring critical conversations at UConn to the state level to enact legal changes in our governing documents. In the Spring 2022 semester, we are making student voices heard with a Husky Voices / Lobby Day in the CT General Assembly.
- The Food & Housing Equity Project will continue research in preparation to lobby for bills that will enhance access to nutritional food and housing for UConn students.
- Our strength comes in staying informed, collecting data, and providing student testimony to advocate for food, housing, and other pandemic-related bills.
- We hope to continue our positive relationship with End Hunger CT, Executive Director Robin Lamott Sparks, to focus and enhance our legislative advocacy.
- We have also developed critical relationships with State Representatives and Senators in the CT General Assembly to effectively advocate for UConn students.
WHAT ARE OUR SPRING 2022 STRATEGIES?
- SERVICE: Serve UConn students and the larger Connecticut community holistically in order to effectively address its food & housing needs
- RESOURCE BUILDING & DISTRIBUTION: Fight UConn on-campus and off-campus food and housing insecurity through the supplementation of resources and increased accessibility to resources
- AWARENESS & EDUCATION: Host educational events to create awareness for student food and housing struggles, and to start key conversations about change on campus
- LOBBYING: Facilitate legislative advocacy for bills which increase accessibility to food and housing resources in the 2022 spring legislative session
- RESEARCH: Conduct research to understand why and how UConn students experience food and housing insecurity
The Food & Housing Equity Project website will be available soon, with more information on our initiatives, resources, and ways to use your student power.