University to publish report this fall addressing campus food insecurity

The University will publish a report outlining recommendations to address campus food insecurity later this fall.
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Journal File Photo

The University has formed a working group to address food insecurity in the Queen’s community, according to Tom Harris, interim provost and vice-principal (Academic).

At the University Senate’s first meeting of the year, Harris announced the establishment of a Food Insecurity Working Group, and stated it had begun to collect data for a report to be completed this fall.

In a written statement to The Journal, Harris explained the group will seek to better understand how food insecurity is impacting Queen’s students, and how best the University can work to mitigate that impact.

“Food insecurity affects student health, wellness, and success and is an unfortunate reality for some members of the Queen’s community,” Harris stated. “This is a complex issue requiring a variety of approaches to address.”

According to Harris’ statement, the Food Insecurity Working Group will review current available data related to food insecurity at Queen’s, create an inventory of work currently done to support food-insecure students, and identify any potential gaps. 

The group will then examine approaches taken by other post-secondary institutions to address the same problem and make recommendations to raise awareness for students dealing with food insecurity.

The group is currently finalizing a report that will summarize findings and recommendations related to current and emerging practices to support food-insecure students at Queen’s.

Chaired by Corinna Fitzgerald, assistant dean of student life and learning, the group incorporates representatives from Student Wellness Services, Food Services, and Student Financial Aid. 

The group will also draw on representation from the student body, including a delegate from the School of Graduate Studies, a student researcher, and undergraduate and graduate students-at-large.

The AMS is also represented by Bunisha Samuels, commissioner of social issues.

Harris confirmed that students have been involved in the working group and will continue to be involved once the report is finalized.

“It is my intention to use that report as a springboard for additional dialogue,” Harris stated. “The findings and recommendations will be shared with the Queen’s community, as we will all need to be a part of solution to effectively address food insecurity.”

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