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Free food giveaway to educate about hunger on campus

The Food Pantry being assembled
Shelves being installed and stocked in the new Food Pantry space in the Campus School building.

The numbers are surprising. According to a RealCollege Survey conducted in the fall of 2018, 36 percent of Boise State students reported food insecurity — or not knowing where their next meal will come from — in the past 30 days. Since the Campus Food Pantry reopened in its new location (Campus School room 103) in September, 308 students have visited to get food for themselves and their households.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, in honor of National Hunger Awareness Month, Boise State will partner with the Idaho Foodbank and Albertsons to give out 100 free meal boxes to students, staff and faculty in need. The giveaway will begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., or until all of the boxes are distributed. It will take place in front of Campus School.

The event, said Susanne Lally, a spokeswoman for the Idaho Foodbank, is to shine a light on hunger in Idaho and dispel myths about food insecurity. Currently, one in eight Idahoans describes themselves as food insecure.

“People have preconceived notions of what hunger looks like. People don’t necessarily think of students who have to pay tuition and don’t have money to pay for food,” said Lally.

The food giveaway also will celebrate community relationships. The Idaho Foodbank provides food for the Campus Food Pantry. Albertsons is a longtime supporter of the Idaho Food Bank and of Boise State. Albertsons provided startup money for Boise State’s food pantry in 2018, said Lauren Oe, associate dean of students, and partnered with the university to provide grocery gift cards when the pandemic forced the pantry to close.

The Campus Food Pantry is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.