St. Paul – For too many college students, food insecurity is a daily concern. According to survey data from LeadMN, 37 percent of Minnesota college students say they have faced food insecurity in the last 30 days.
In an effort to address this growing issue, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education has partnered with students from LeadMN (Minnesota’s public 2-year institutions), Students United (Minnesota’s public 4-year institutions), The University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Private College Council student association, and tribal institutions on Hunger Free Campus designations and grants.
“Supporting students means supporting the whole student,” OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson said. “This initiative will help reduce the number of students facing food insecurity on Minnesota campuses, ensuring they have the nutrition necessary to focus on their studies and finishing their program. I am grateful to our campus partners and student associations in this work, and look forward to a day when every campus in the state is designated as being hunger free.”
This initiative has three components: 1) a Hunger Free Campus designation for schools actively taking strides to reduce food insecurity, 2) grants to support those institutions in sustaining their efforts, and 3) grants to support institutions working toward achieving the Hunger Free Campus designation.
Established in 2021 as a part of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Omnibus Bill, the Hunger Free Campus program will provide $205,000 in grants to institutions who are working toward designation and $102,000 in grants to institutions so they can sustain their designation. Currently, all Minnesota public 2- and 4-year institutions and tribal colleges are eligible to apply for grant funding.
The competitive grant process for institutions seeking to achieve a Hunger Free Campus designation is now open. If selected, institutions will receive grants of up to $8,000 to support their efforts. The timeline leading up to proposal submission is as follows:
For more information and forms needed to apply, see the Hunger Free Campus Request for Proposals.
Grants for institutions that currently have a Hunger Free Campus designation will be available Winter 2022.
For more information on this program, visit the Minnesota Office of Higher Education website.