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For Immediate Release September 22, 2019

Contact: Erin Dowridge-Rodney 443-xxx-xxx Erin.Dowridge-Rodney@Baltimorecity.gov

John Hopkins University Implements New Program to Address Food Insecurity Recent study shows almost half of college students are going hungry Baltimore — John Hopkins University, Homewood Campus created a new program for students seeking a free meal. Free Food Alert (FFA) informs students where they can find leftover food from catered events. Students receive notifications either through email or text informing them of the location, type of food available and how long the food will be available. FFA is open to JHU students and JHU affiliates. Free Food Alert was developed Fall 2018 by Leana Houser, manager of the Homewood Recycling Office program, to minimize food waste from campus events. Event organizers reported an average of 30-40% of food was being wasted per event (either through composting, being thrown away or not eaten.) Since the implementation of the Free Food Alert, 900 pounds of food was rescued. “Within a minute of the alert going out, people stream into the space and line up for food.” Says Leana Houser. By Spring 2019, FFA had about 2100 subscribers, 38 event organizers and 138 food events. The Free Food Alert addresses food insecurity on campus, but it doesn’t resolve the issue. FFA isn’t a reliable source of food for students. As Houser explains, “it does provide a small safety net at times.” Ivory Loh, a recent graduate and Emma Zeng, a senior proposed starting a food pantry to combat long term issues. John Hopkins launched its pilot program last semester. The Student Government Association has also become involved in the fight against food insecurity, this semester they have partnered with the Senior Class Giving Campaign to fundraise $3,000 to donate to the campus pantry. John Hopkins students aren’t the only students struggling with food insecurity. A recent survey, published by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice reported that 45% of students from over 100 institutions said that they were food insecure for 30 or more days during the semester. The amount of food insecure students is increasing because of the growing number of first generation, minority students, tuition costs and students wanting to save money by skipping meals. According to Yu-Wei Wang, PhD of University of Maryland “Students who are food insecure were more likely to fail assignments and exams, withdraw from the University and had lower grade point averages.” College students will be returning to school this month and many of them will be wondering where their next meal will come from. John Hopkins University is ahead of the curve with the development of the Free Food Alert. Other state universities such as Morgan State University, Goucher College and Loyola University only offer a campus pantry for students. College students can utilize resources from their school, but they can also request assistance from their state with programs such as SNAP, college meal assistance and resource connection services. For additional assistance, college students can contact the organizations listed below. All of which are geared towards combating food insecurity and homelessness. John Hopkins University is America’s first research university and became a pioneer in medical education. JHU is ranked top ten nationally in the 2020 edition of Best College. The school has been preparing students to enter their field for over 140 years. John Hopkins University is leading all U.S institutions in annual research, international studies and funding research.


Harriet Smith 7 E. Redwood St, 5th floor Baltimore, MD 21202 Journeyhomebaltimore,org Journey.home@baltimorecity.gov

Regina Anderson 4321 Hartwick Rd, Suite 316 College Park, MD 20740 Foodrecoverynetwork.org info@foodrecooverynetwork.org

Jessica Wodarczyk 1740 E. Joppa Rd, Suite 200 Baltimore, MD 21234 Studentsupportnetwork.org Ltaylormitchell.ss@gmail.com

Baltimore Hunger Project 117 Old Padonia Rd, Suite E Cockeysville, MD 21030 Baltimorehungerproject.org info@ baltimorehungerproject.org

Carmen Del Guercio 2200 Halethorpe Farms Rd Baltimore, MD 21227 Mdfoodbank.org lubran@mdfoodbank.org

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