Oregon State University

Growing Food Security


Growing Food Security

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) is partnering with the Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) and the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) to launch a collaborative initiative to address food insecurity at OSU. Our project, Growing Food Security, was one of four student Commitments to Action selected to represent OSU at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in 2014.

Focusing on the global issues of poverty and sustainability, the Growing Food Security project will address the chronic symptoms of food insecurity in our community. The OSU Food Pantry serves approximately 400 people and distributes between 2,000-3,000 pounds of food each month. They rely heavily on food provided by the Oregon Food Bank, which consists primarily of packaged, non-perishable items. By developing our capacity to provide pantry clients with fresh, locally grown food options, this project aims to interrupt the inequitable and unsustainable food systems and redistribute resources to those individuals experiencing unjust symptoms of poverty. In modern culture, there is a dramatic disconnect between food production and consumption which significantly impacts both environmental and human health and disproportionately affects low-income communities. By providing the resources, knowledge, and tools to individuals in the Oregon State University community who are facing food insecurity, this project will promote self-sufficiency and enable individuals to make local, healthy, and sustainable food choices.

The CCE, SSI, and the HSRC are organizations dedicated to improving social, economic and environmental well-being for our campus community. Combining our strengths, we see an opportunity to provide better services to food pantry clients, meeting their basic needs for fresh foods and offering educational opportunities to increase our community’s resiliency.

Activities funded by this proposal will address a whole-systems approach and include growing food on our campus for donation to the OSU food pantry; teaching gardening, canning and cooking classes; and distributing food to pantry clients in reusable bags. Student volunteers--including students who rely on emergency food services--will grow produce at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture under the direction of SSI staff. The garden will serve as a living laboratory for sustainability, self-reliance, and civic engagement.  We will reconnect food production and consumption, offering the OSU community opportunities to develop canning and cooking skills, as well as to learn the benefits, cost efficiency, and health incentives of making meals at home. These classes will be free and open to the public.


Clinton Global Initative University Conference Information

Growing Food Security will attend the Clinton Global Initative University Conference March 21-23, 2014 in Arizona. Learn alongside the students by watching the Live Webcast of the keynote speakers, which include Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Senator John McCain, Jimmy Kimmel and many more.

Be sure to stay connected with Growing Food Security to find opportunities for involvement in our project and help address the issue of food insecurity here at OSU!

Contact Info

Center for Civic Engagement
158 Snell Hall (MU East) Corvallis, OR 97331-1610 beaver.volunteer@oregonstate.edu
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