Back in Session: Learnings from 2020 Swipe Sessions
At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Swipe Out Hunger asked an all-important question: what’s the best way to learn?
Our conclusion: the best way to learn is from one another.
To ensure our community had access to the wealth of knowledge our network has about sustainable food security resources for college students, we took these learning matters into our own hands. A month later, our inaugural Swipe Session series was born!
Check out what we covered in our first few Swipe Sessions:
PROGRAM ADAPTATIONS TO COLLEGE FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMS (OCTOBER 2020)
We kicked off our inaugural Swipe Session with campus partners detailing how they have innovated their campus food security programs to meet not only the needs of students, but their current campus structures as well.
One common adaptation amongst all our presenting campuses was virtual programming – it works! In a time of decreased in-person interactions, virtual programming ensures touchpoints with students that wouldn’t otherwise exist. From online ordering at food pantries, to budget-friendly online cooking classes, to virtual SNAP application assistance, the sky’s the limit on socially distanced support for students on- and off-campus.
**Learn more about these adaptations in the Swipe Session notes here.
ON-CAMPUS SNAP SUPPORT SOLUTIONS (NOVEMBER 2020)
SNAP is an incredible resource utilized by millions of Americans– and more than a million college students, whom are eligible, have not been able to access SNAP.
In our SNAP-focused Swipe Session, we heard from campus partners working towards SNAP awareness, outreach, and application assistance through innovative pathways, like Student Ambassador programs and SNAP eligibility evaluation tools. We also discussed how CollegeSNAPproject.org, created in collaboration with the Congressional Hunger Center, can be utilized and continually developed by the broader community.
What we know for sure to be true, and will always be true, is that widespread, varied promotion is the key to increased SNAP participation by college students. The presented SNAP support solutions were informative, innovative, and wildly creative; e.g. CSU East Bay hosted a CalFresh enrollment party, complete with music, games, and snacks, to generate awareness and increase CalFresh enrollment. The more communities the information, awareness, and access can reach, the better.
**Learn more about these efforts in the Swipe Session notes here.
INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE ANTI-HUNGER PPROGRAMS (DECEMBER 2020)
Practicing and upholding principles grounded in racial justice, equity, and inclusion is crucial for sustainable and meaningful anti-hunger programs. Campus advocates described how their commitments are welcoming of all, such as on-campus pantries expanding access to include staff, alumni, and other community members, as well as embracing cultural sensitivities and dietary restrictions.
Campuses must prioritize listening to all students and developing holistic, supportive resources for everyone.
We hope you’ll join us each month for ongoing learning! You can always sign up for our next Swipe Session at swipehunger.org/swipesession. We can’t wait to learn with you this year!