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“Structural change is hard, but doable” Reflections from our 2019 Student Leadership Summit

With a network of now 83 sites in 32 states, we brought our movement into one room in Los Angeles last week at our fourth Student Leadership Summit. We knew bringing this eclectic group of student activists together would be powerful, but their creativity, passion and nonstop engagement affirmed why students must be at the forefront of this movement: they remain the experts on building anti-hunger programs that are responsive, sustainable, and thoughtful.

Over the course of the summit, we saw the power behind the movement to end college student hunger. Our student leaders brainstormed upstream policy and advocacy efforts to push the needle on basic needs in their region. They advised one another on how they overcame obstacles to launch Swipe Out Hunger on their campus. They shared their dreams for the future of higher education and developed pathways to make that dream a reality. Through the leadership of students like these, fewer of their peers on campus don’t have to accept the status quo that instant ramen noodles are a meal.

We remain committed to lifting up the leadership of students in the higher education basic needs movement and look forward to sharing what we learned in the coming months. We are immensely grateful for our supporters and sponsors that allow this work to happen and continue, including: Robbin Steif, David Nasser Haverim, #SoylentForGood, Every Table, Coola, Trader Joe’s, Canter’s Deli, and Noah’s Bagels.

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