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Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project Aims to Alleviate Student Food Insecurity on Boise State Campus

Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project, Boise River Cafe, photo Patrick Sweeney

Until Dec. 14, Boise State University students with meal plans can support fellow Broncos by donating one unused guest meal swipe to provide a meal for a student in need as part of the Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project, sponsored by Boise State and Aramark. The process is simple: to give a meal, students notify the attendant at the entrance of Boise State’s dining hall, the Boise River Café, that they would like to donate one of their guest meal swipes to the holiday meal project. Students in need of food can ask Boise River Cafe attendants for a Full Bronco Meal, which is given anonymously. There is no limit on the number of meals a student can receive.

Since the Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project launched on Dec. 5, more than 450 meals have been donated by students; of those meals, 350 already have been applied to the Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project.

“This program aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma regarding food insecurity on campus,” said Jessie Dexter, a graduate research assistant with the Department of Community and Environmental Health and member of the Food Insecurity Advisory Board. “It empowers students to help other students, ensuring that all Broncos remain Full Broncos this holiday season.”

A national survey conducted in 2017 found that 36 percent of students at four-year colleges experience some form of food insecurity and do not have enough to eat. Full Broncos, a Boise State University campus-wide initiative to support its students, is on a mission to change that.

Collaborative efforts for the Full Broncos Holiday Meal Project began in the spring of 2018 between Aramark, Campus and Student Services, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Associated Students of Boise State University to identify and implement strategies to better support Broncos on campus. This winter, those efforts made the pilot meal project possible.

Boise State also offers several other year-round support services to combat food and housing insecurity on campus, such as Campus Food Pantry Program, Meal Assistance Program and Student Emergency Fund.