College Services - Summer 2017 - 35

FEATURE

Food Insecurity

Partnerships key to addressing
food insecurity at WSU
BY STEVE NAKATA

G

ood old-fashioned team work helped
Washington State University (WSU) create
one of the most innovative programs in the
nation addressing food insecurity among students.
The program is called Cougs Feeding Cougs,
and since it launched in January, it has provided
assistance to more than 700 students who consider themselves food insecure.
Some national studies suggest that almost half
of our nation's college students experience food
insecurity at some point during their college tenure.
At WSU, two food pantries have been established
on campus to help address the issue. While they
have made a positive impact, studies also suggest
many students never seek help for food insecurity
because they may feel ashamed or embarrassed.

CROSS-POLLINATION ENCOURAGED
WSU's Division of Student Affairs wanted
to create something that not only helps more
food insecure students, but also makes the process of requesting help and donating to the
program fast, convenient and anonymous.
Both are accommodated on the same website,
http://www.studentaffairs.wsu.edu/cougs-feeding
-cougs/.
Craig Howard, director of Administrative
Services Information Systems (ASIS), knew that
creating such a comprehensive program was a
tall order.
"It was important to have cross-pollination in a
lot of different areas where we could share ideas,
discuss challenges, and the best approaches to
solving those challenges," he said.
Since those challenges ranged in nature from
technological, to philosophical, to practical, departments from all over campus became involved in
the project. They include ASIS, Dining Services,
Housing and Residence Life, the CougarCard
Center, Dean of Students Office, WSU TRIO
programs, Business Affairs, Student Financial
Services, Marketing and Communications, and
even the Associated Students of Washington State
University, which ultimately passed a resolution
in support of the program. By working through
each aspect of the program, they forged a strong

partnership that led to the creation of what many
consider to be a model program.

HOW IT WORKS
All currently enrolled WSU Pullman students,
regardless if they live in a residence hall or offcampus, are eligible for assistance and they can
request it only once per day. They must have a
combined balance of $10 or less in both their
Cougar CASH and dining (RDA) accounts to be
eligible for help.
Once a student applies for funds, an account
for the Cougs Feeding Cougs program is created
for them and $10 is deposited into it. The student
has up to five days to spend the money using their
CougarCard in a variety of WSU Dining operations.
Since students typically purchase food using their
CougarCard, no one including dining staff, know if
a student is using a Cougs Feeding Cougs account.
Anyone can make a donation using their credit
card or Cougar CASH at any time. Students with
RDA plans can donate up to $20 during the semester. During the last six weeks, they can contribute
any amount.
All transactions are handled via an automated
process requiring no human interface, protecting
the identity of those using it.

THE LONG-TERM
Student Financial Services Director Brian
Dixon became a project partner early-on to help
determine what impact the utilization of Cougs
Feeding Cougs might have on students' financial
aid or scholarships earned by student-athletes.
His involvement with the program doesn't end
there, however. He and other partners plan to
keep improving the program and work toward
longer-term solutions for students who request
assistance multiple times.
"That's when you see the value of having really
strong partnerships," said Dixon. "Being able to
continue collaborating on ways we can help students is such a great asset to our university."
Steve Nakata is the
director of marketing
and communications for
Administrative Services
at Washington State
University. Nakata
earned a bachelor's
degree in broadcast journalism and
master's degree in public relations from
Washington State University's Edward R.
Murrow College of Communication.

A Washington State University student orders a sandwich at the Hillside Café.

E NRIC HING THE C AMPUS E XPE RIE NC E. | www.nac as .o r g

35


http://www.studentaffairs.wsu.edu/ http://www.nacas.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of College Services - Summer 2017

Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
New partners for new ventures
Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
What vendors wish we knew
Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
Student Author Contest winners
Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
In Closing Executive Summary
Professional Development Calendar
Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - intro
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly1
College Services - Summer 2017 - belly2
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover1
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover2
College Services - Summer 2017 - 3
College Services - Summer 2017 - 4
College Services - Summer 2017 - 5
College Services - Summer 2017 - Opening Remarks: Presidential Perspective
College Services - Summer 2017 - 7
College Services - Summer 2017 - 8
College Services - Summer 2017 - 9
College Services - Summer 2017 - Future-proofing your organization’s leadership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 11
College Services - Summer 2017 - Perspectives on strong campus housing partnerships from both sides of the table
College Services - Summer 2017 - 13
College Services - Summer 2017 - 14
College Services - Summer 2017 - 15
College Services - Summer 2017 - 16
College Services - Summer 2017 - 17
College Services - Summer 2017 - 18
College Services - Summer 2017 - Achieving institutional excellence through collaborative sustainability efforts
College Services - Summer 2017 - 20
College Services - Summer 2017 - 21
College Services - Summer 2017 - 22
College Services - Summer 2017 - New partners for new ventures
College Services - Summer 2017 - 24
College Services - Summer 2017 - 25
College Services - Summer 2017 - 26
College Services - Summer 2017 - 27
College Services - Summer 2017 - Corporate Partnerships: Focus on university partnership
College Services - Summer 2017 - 29
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships and possibilities: Working together to bring a food truck to campus
College Services - Summer 2017 - 31
College Services - Summer 2017 - What vendors wish we knew
College Services - Summer 2017 - 33
College Services - Summer 2017 - 34
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnerships key to addressing food insecurity at WSU
College Services - Summer 2017 - 36
College Services - Summer 2017 - 37
College Services - Summer 2017 - Student Author Contest winners
College Services - Summer 2017 - 39
College Services - Summer 2017 - 40
College Services - Summer 2017 - 41
College Services - Summer 2017 - 42
College Services - Summer 2017 - 43
College Services - Summer 2017 - 44
College Services - Summer 2017 - Partnership at its core: Arizona State University's Sun Devil Fitness Complex and the Downtown YMCA
College Services - Summer 2017 - 46
College Services - Summer 2017 - In Closing Executive Summary
College Services - Summer 2017 - 48
College Services - Summer 2017 - Professional Development Calendar
College Services - Summer 2017 - Advertisers Index/Advertisers.com
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover3
College Services - Summer 2017 - cover4
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