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LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University saw an outpouring of support from the community on Wednesday during its Fall Food Share Event. Hundreds of pounds of perishable and non-perishable food, as well as essential health and hygiene items, were distributed to students, highlighting the need to raise awareness about food insecurity.
The Fall Food Share Event, organized by EOU’s Resource Advocate Jose Abrego Melendez, served to bring awareness to students who may be grappling with financial constraints or limited access to essential items.
Over 150 students came to “grocery shop” with food that was provided by the Resource Advocate pantry. Tote bags were provided by the Resource Advocate with promotional items, informational handouts, and hygiene items.
“We’ve invited local partners to our event to raise awareness and the gap in food insecurity,” Melendez said.
For some students the Fall Food Share Event was a lifeline, “It’s sweet. I haven’t had my truck for a while, so I haven’t been able to get to the store,” EOU student Jay Smith III said. “One of my teammates texted me this was on campus, so it was nice.”
“Students have requested more fresh foods,” Melendez said. “But, also easy prep items are very popular. Students are busy with clubs, sports, and school work, and items that can be prepared quickly are always helpful.”
The Fall Food Event hopes to bring awareness to students about the resources that are available to students so they can focus on their academic pursuits without the burden of hunger or unmet basic needs.
The food that was donated was in partnership and collaboration with the Resource Advocate Grab & Go, Community Connections Regional Food Bank, Evergreen Farms, Farmers Market, Learning Center and ASEOU, Haven from Hunger, faculty members, a Walmart donation, and the K House. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was available to help students connect to SNAP, apply, and answer questions students had.
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