CUFBA to Join Temple University HOPE Center

Greetings CUFBA members,

We hope that you are all well and that your quarters or semesters are going along smoothly. As spring approaches we know that things can get hectic, and are wishing you some opportunities to rest and rejuvenate as you work in service to students. Care for ourselves is what makes it possible for us to care for others.

Speaking of care, as you all know through the past 5 years CUFBA has grown immensely due to the care of our amazing leadership team, Nate, Brandon, Sonal and Clare. This year we estimate we will reach 500 member institutions, and already we are above 450. This is A LOT of care, and it is also a lot of work – work we are happy to do, and work that requires a longer-term sustainability plan.

In the 10-year plan for CUFBA we set a goal to move the organization toward sustainable independence and increased capacity. Initially we thought that creating a 501©3 nonprofit organization would be the direction we took, but it has proven challenging. Recently we have explored options for a strong partnership with another organization whose mission matches ours – and we have found such a partnership as we enter into 2017.

We are pleased to let you know that we will be combining forces with the HOPE Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University. The HOPE Center will open in 2018, and is the newest project spearheaded by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple, and founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. The HOPE Center will build upon the work of the HOPE Lab, engaging in translational research that evaluates and elevates practice and policy to improve college access and completion for our most vulnerable populations. CUFBA will be joining this effort in name, mission, work, and through the hiring of one of our Founding Directors, Clare Cady, who will be serving as Director of Community Engagement.

What does this mean for you, our members? As we vision into the future we are setting goals to:

  • Increase access to resources for colleges and universities to address student food insecurity

  • Develop research to better understand the impacts of campus pantries and other food insecurity interventions

  • Curate and share best practices in campus pantries and other food insecurity interventions, and

  • Develop and support spaces (regional and national) where practitioners and policy makers can convene to learn, partner, and engage in positive change

In the meantime, we at CUFBA will continue to offer our monthly newsletter and updates, connect members to one another for intra-collaboration, and continue to share best practices and resources most pertinent to our collective work. Our team will continue to be responsive to our members’ needs and look forward to growing in that capacity

In short, we are HOPE-ing to move forward with more offerings to increase the capacity of our members and elevate the conversation around student food insecurity across the national (and international) stage. Please be on the lookout for changes around our website, communications, and opportunities to volunteer. We will work to ensure you are up to date and able to benefit from what is to come.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to hear and to answer. You can reach Clare at


All the best to you all in service. Remember, HOPE is a strategy.

Your CUFBA Leadership Team


Nate Smith-Tyge

Clare Cady

Brandon Mathews

Sonal Chauhan



HOPE Lab logo


The Wisconsin HOPE Lab put out a new report on student hunger and homelessness. Among the highlights are:

- The study was conducted at 70 community colleges in 24 states


- One in three community college students are hungry

- 14% of them are homeless

Check out the full report in the link below. 

CUFBA Hits 400 Members

It’s been an historic week for us at CUFBA as we welcomed our 399th and 400th members to our network. Our 400th, Klemi’s Kitchen at Georgia Tech, were officially welcomed on Wednesday night by our Associate Director Sonal Chauhan. Incidentally we welcomed another amazing team member this week – Grace Evelyn Smith-Tyge joined us on the same day. We are so excited for you and your family Nate!

Reaching 400 members and the closing of 2016 has me reflecting on the nature of our work, its success, and the future of CUFBA. Not only did we reach this all-time high in membership, but published our first research in the report Hunger on Campus in partnership with the SGRC, Student PIRGS, and NCSAHH. Special thanks to Associate Director Brandon Mathews for his great work on shepherding this project in collaboration with James Dubick and myself. We can be extremely proud of this years’ accomplishments, which have received ongoing press coverage and attention – which we see less as win for CUFBA, and more for students whose needs are closer to being met.

It is bittersweet, this year of accomplishments, mostly because were students not at such risk of food insecurity there would be no need for organizations such as CUFBA and our partners (Swipe Out Hunger, The Campus Kitchens Project, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, Share Meals, Food Recovery Network, and many more). I think we would all love to see a world where our work is no longer needed, where writing books like Paying the Price or the creation of new orgs like the FAST Fund are not even necessary because students are cared for and supported in the ways they require. Sadly they are, so we keep creating, growing, serving, and truth-telling until students are no longer food insecure. As we look into the future of the US we worry that things may get worse before they get better.

Speaking of the future, we at CUFBA are looking into 2017 with an ambitious eye. Earlier this year we made some adjustments to our mission and strategic plan that allow us some wiggle room we have not had. We have forged a deeper partnership with NASPA to bring light to these issues and possible solutions. Be on the lookout for the second Closing the Achievement Gap conference, in which I will be playing a formative role. We are continuing to ask critical questions that require inquiry. We are hoping to be a part of new research in the new year. Finally, we are expanding our work to include other interventions beyond that of the campus pantry. This will be minimal compared to our current work, but we have seen an increasing need from our members to brainstorm longer term, proactive solutions to alleviating student food insecurity. We realize that while meeting the immediate needs of students in crisis is a critical start to supporting them, stopping at that is the equivalent (as I have been quoted many times saying) putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. We need not only to meet students’ immediate needs, but to help them gain the stability that leads to persistence and completion. Through partnerships and innovation we hope that this will be a place where we can support and/or offer solutions.

I want to say again a special thank you to the CUFBA team, Co-Founder and Co-Director Nate Smith-Tyge, Associate Director Brandon Mathews, and Associate Director Sonal Chauhan. It is a tremendous privilege to work with these folks, and without them CUFBA would not be what it is today. I do not know if you are aware, but we are an all-volunteer organization…so these folks do this in their spare time. I think that is a testament to their commitment and the power of their contributions. Finally thanks to our members. We provide support yes, but it is our members who do the heavy lifting, the strategic planning, the grant writing, the donor relating – all the things that result in students getting what they need and deserve.

All the best to you all.


CNN Money – There’s a hunger problem on America’s college campuses

“We’re talking about students who are doing all the things we’d expect them to do and they’re still not able to support themselves while in school,”

Read the full article here:

Inside Higher Ed article, “Battling Student Hunger”, discusses the campus pantry movement and national level policy efforts around food insecurity

Read this very well written and research backed article here:


Report: Hunger on Campus, The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students


In a joint effort with the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, Student Government Resource Center, and Student Public Interest Research Groups, CUFBA is proud to release its newest report, Hunger On Campus. This report examines the challenges college students face regarding hunger and food insecurity, ways they are coping, and recommendations to address these issues.

Download (PDF)

NYC Food Policy Center – 10 Organizations Fighting Food Insecurity on College Campuses

Check out this story from the New York City Food Policy Center on campus-based solutions to food insecurity.

Update Your Membership Status!

Please be sure to update your membership status and contact information to ensure CUFBA members and our resources are able to most effectively serve your site! -

NYT Article on Student Hunger Names CUFBA, Campus Pantries

New Research on Student Food Insecurity Trends in Community Colleges

The growing trend of student food insecurity across our nation’s community colleges and how it effects our students ability to persist in higher education is discussed in this new research by Dr. Maya Maroto: