MORE THAN JUST A MEAL
Help students succeed this Giving Tuesday.
RAMS AGAINST HUNGER
Giving Tuesday is a special time, when Rams everywhere rally around a worthy cause. Rams Against Hunger provides nutritious meals the from CSU dining halls to students struggling with food insecurity. Currently, one in 10 CSU students struggles with hunger. Students who receive support from the program are more likely to stay in school, earn higher GPAs, and graduate compared to students who are wait-listed. Thanks to a generous donor, all gifts made to Rams Against Hunger this Giving Tuesday will be matched up to $25,000! By making a gift this Giving Tuesday, you can double your impact, and most importantly, help us say “yes” to more students in need.
Scroll down to see the stories of four incredible students who have received support from the Rams Against Hunger program. Their stories are unique, but the effects of hunger are the same. Overcoming food insecurity thanks to support from Rams Against Hunger has been instrumental to their success at Colorado State University.
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Hannah is a senior majoring in English with a minor in women’s studies and is also struggling with food insecurity. As a diabetic, hunger hits her harder sometimes when it’s difficult to get food, especially healthy food, and low blood sugar levels leave her feeling sick and unable to focus on her academics.
“There have been times where I had to leave class because I was so hungry I thought I was going to pass out.” Since receiving support from Rams Against Hunger, she’s had her best semester yet at CSU. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help reduce the stigma around hunger and educate others about the prevalence of food insecurity at CSU.
Molly McGuire is a food science and human nutrition major, with a minor in political science at Colorado State University. She works a part-time job, and she’s involved in a few student clubs on campus. She enjoys her classroom labs when she gets to cook something hands-on and learn about the nutrition behind the food. Her favorite thing about CSU is how friendly and accepting everyone is. She is quiet, but she knows that she wants to change the world. Molly is also one of the 10 percent of CSU students struggling with food insecurity.
“Growing up, my mom was a single mom, and we’ve always been on food stamps. She has a college degree and a good job, but it just doesn’t pay enough. We never really ate super-healthy at home, and that’s what inspired my major. I want to go into public health policy and work to get people easier access to food.”
When asked what it’s like being a student with food insecurity, Molly tears up and shares how the stress of hunger affects her daily life. “I know how to cook, I know how to budget, but I only get $70 a month in food stamps, which is like $2 a day. I usually end up having to use my loan money to purchase food, or I have to plan my meals around when I’m getting food stamps.” Staying focused and energized in class is difficult. “Sometimes you don’t have as much motivation when you’re hungry. I try to do the best I can to make myself not feel hungry, but it’s hard.”
Receiving meals from the Rams Against Hunger program was a game changer for Molly. “I don’t have to worry as much. It lifts a lot of weight off my shoulders. It gives me a chance to sit down and have a full meal. I have lunch right before organic chemistry, and I feel refreshed and ready to learn.” She credits the program for helping to improve the physical, mental, and emotional health of students struggling with hunger and shared her gratitude for the Rams Against Hunger program and the donors who support it. “I can’t say thank you enough. It’s helped me so much. You’ve made me a better student, you’re making me eat healthier meals. I’m able to eat what I want to eat, and that’s really nice.”
Shayla is a senior majoring in business management. She’s also one of the ten percent of Colorado State University students struggling with food insecurity. The impact of hunger is significant and as Shayla describes, “it takes away from the whole experience and it’s a huge obstacle in being able to fully engage in classes.”
Being able to receive meal support from Rams Against Hunger has not only given Shayla more energy to focus in class, it’s given her the opportunity to build a routine on campus that has been instrumental in her success. Most of all, she says that the program has made her feel at home at CSU.
For many of the one in 10 CSU students who struggle with food insecurity, hunger has always been part of their lives. Caleb Hawkins, a third year business major, is one of those students. “I grew up in foster care. Before that, I constantly knew what hunger was. My mom was always out. My sister and I would have a soda for dinner some nights and it was really rough. I didn’t know what a normal meal was until I got into a couple of foster homes.”
Caleb still struggles with food insecurity as a student, however, he sometimes feels guilty asking for help because he doesn’t want to take resources away from people that who are in situations like the ones he grew up in. “One of the reasons I don’t really talk about it much or let people know, is because I know there’s always worse. My situation right now, I reached out because it was an opportunity, but I wouldn’t go around asking people for help because I’ve had it worse.”
Dealing with food insecurity as a student has its own challenges. “Being hungry in class was awful. I would lose my train of thought in class. My grades would start to slip if I wasn’t eating healthily or enough.” As a way to distract himself from feeling hungry, Caleb learned to drink extra water every day to feel full.
Although he had reservations about asking for help, Caleb is incredibly grateful for the support he received and the positive impact Rams Against Hunger has had on his life. “My grades directly improved. The course work feels easier, and it’s less stressful. When you have a decent meal, everything feels OK.” To the donors who support the program, “Thank you. Your donation is greatly appreciated, and you’re actually changing a student’s life.”
This Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, you can help us say yes to more students who apply for meal assistance. By supporting Rams Against Hunger through monthly giving, you become a key partner in sustaining this important program year-round.
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