Tackling Hunger Among College Students Through Her Campus Food Pantry

By Jasmine E. Crenshaw

Crafting Her Project 

Attending the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, Harley Moore first witnessed food insecurity while volunteering at her local farmer’s market. While working there, she assisted many groups of people with obtaining food, noting that “food insecurity is not one size fits all.” Because of this experience, Harley became eager to create a project that destigmatized discussions around food insecurity and hunger through amplifying educational and community resources. In completing this goal, Harley wanted to create a partnership with a community site that had leaders who were both passionate about the people they serve and their community at large. She found this in Auburn’s Campus Food Pantry, located right on her university’s campus. She was impressed with the organization after witnessing them in action one afternoon. Upon selecting Auburn Campus Food Pantry as her community site partner, Harley was assured that she “knew that even if I did not meet every goal I set, that I had a group of amazing leaders supporting me and my mission who truly cared for their clients.”

Harley’s Plan to Combat Food Insecurity Through One Pantry 

In addition to accomplishing her project goal of normalizing discussions about food insecurity, Harley now had the added goal of decreasing food insecurity among her fellow Auburn University students. Her plan to achieve both of these goals included (1) the creation and implementation of food insecurity screenings where students in need could be identified to receive resources and (2) giving presentations to student-led organizations on food insecurity and where to locate resources on campus. Harley hopes that these actions “will help Auburn rally as a community to end the stigma around struggling with food insecurity and work together to address it on our campus”. Being a student in the Auburn Harrison School of Pharmacy program has taught Harley to do just that, to listen and act on the needs of the communities she will serve in the future. She has learned effective research and evaluation skills in her classes that will build necessary community interventions, including dealing with unpredictable events.

Remaining Adaptable 

Just like the rest of her 2020 Alabama Schweitzer Fellowship class, Harley is halfway through her Fellowship year. Challenged by the unpredictability due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harley’s project has evolved since the beginning of the project year. She had originally sought out to interact more with the pantry’s clients and she had selected another community site partner for collaboration. Although changes occurred, Harley still aims to make sure that the impact of her project is just as powerful as she originally intended.