Thanks to funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRRSAA), the Utah State University Center for Community Engagement has hired Kara Bachman as the Food Security Coordinator for the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC). CCE staff members Kate Stephens, Sean Damitz and Nelda Ault-Dyslin applied for the funds which will pay for the one-year position.
“I’m very excited to work with Kara in SNAC,” said Ault-Dyslin, community service coordinator in the Val R. Christensen Service Center. “She is building on good work that student leaders have done over the last ten years, and she will be able to expand in ways we never could before. We’re looking forward to fall semester when we can show everyone that SNAC is more than just a pantry.”
SNAC’s services and patron needs have reached a point where increased capacity in both staffing and physical space is needed. The full-time Food Security Coordinator will work with SNAC’s student leaders to lead the center to fight food insecurity and food waste.
Funding from the CRRSAA was also awarded to renovate the current SNAC pantry space, making room for more stocked shelves, refrigerators and work stations to fill the center’s 250-plus online orders made every week. During the 2020-21 school year, volunteers and staff filled more than 8,400 online food orders. With this renovated space, SNAC will be better equipped to continue safely handling online food orders. The SNAC space will begin its remodel starting in June. During the remodel, SNAC’s operations will be temporarily housed on the second floor of the Taggart Student Center, inside the conference rooms.
Bachman started in her position in May and will oversee pantry operations throughout the summer as she prepares new programming for the 2021-22 school year. In addition to expanded pantry operations, the Food Security Coordinator will also develop new programming designed to teach Aggies how to make college more affordable through nutrition and food preparation education.
Throughout the pandemic, the SNAC pantry and the Student Sustainability Office continued to coordinate food donations from the Cache Community Food Pantry and the Utah Food Bank, recover food from USU Dining Services, and glean fruit and produce in partnership with local farmers and tree owners. Allocation of federal funds to support a full-time Food Security Coordinator and to make improvements in the pantry’s physical space will expand SNAC’s capacity to reach any student, staff or faculty member that faces uncertainty around this basic need.
For more information on SNAC, visit www.usu.edu/servicecenter/programs/snac.