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Food Pantry Kelsey Baker Grand Valley State University


Table of Context: Introduction……………………………………………………………..3 Secondary Research……………………………………………………..8 Primary Research……………………………………………………....14 Objects, Strategies, and Tactics………………………………………..19 Budget and Timeline…………………………………………………..25 Evaluation…………………………………………………………….31 Appendix A (Moderators Guide)……………………………………..35 Appendix B (Focus Group Results)…………………………………..39 Appendix C (Survey)…………………………………………………43 Appendix D (Survey Results)………………………………………..47 Appendix E (Banner) …………………………………………….….53 Appendix F (Flyer)……………………………………………….….56 Appendix G (Press Release)……………………………………...…58 Appendix H (References)…………………………………………...60 Appendix I (Digital Copy)……………………………………..……62




In 2013 Grand Valley recorded that, “about 60% of college students (or their parents) use loans to help them pay tuition and other expenses� (Using, 2014). After taking into account other expenses that a student acquires after being accepted into Grand Valley State University such as: tuition, books, housing, food, school supplies, etc.; it becomes evident that a student will not be able to attend Grand Valley without some form of financial assistance. Taking this information into account, it raises the question, if over half of the student body at Grand Valley cannot afford tuition, how are the students supposed to be able to afford all of the other expenses that come with attending Grand Valley? Within the hierarchy of what a student must have in order to be successful books, housing, and tuition are at the top; leaving items such as food to be an afterthought when it comes to students budgeting their money. If 60% of students attending Grand Valley in 2013 could not afford to attend Grand Valley without financial assistance, more than likely, the students would have struggled to have sufficient funds to afford enough food for a healthy stabilized diet, forcing them to either skip meals or eat unhealthy foods, or a mixture of the two. Grand Valley created a food bank on the Allendale campus to help out its financially struggling students. The goal of this campaign is to help the food pantry in three ways: by increasing the number of students who visit it each semester, increasing the number of donations the food pantry receives, and by increasing awareness in food injustice. If this campaign is successful not only will the food pantry have been helped, but the students at Grand Valley as well. A student’s access to help regarding food became increasingly more difficult in 2011. Prior to 2011, if a college student moved to dorm or other housing, the government viewed the students as individual housed individuals who qualified for food stamps. In 2011 the government rescinded the law that allowed the students living in a dorm or other form of housing; making it


extremely difficult for the students to receive food stamps. In order to meet the requirements to receive food stamps after 2011, a few of the many new criteria’s that a student must meet is working 20 or more hours a week, and/or taking care of a child older than five, yet younger than twelve, while not having the efficient funds to care for them. If a student is able to meet all of the new requirements set by the government, the students must then sign up through an intensive application, and even then the government can still decide to deny the student food stamps (Supplemental, 2014). The restriction on food stamps amplified the already desperate need of the food pantry for students at Grand Valley. Grand Valley State University opened up a food pantry in 2009, in hopes of helping its students be able to, not only reduce the number of meals students are forced to skip due to lack of funds but also, provide students with a healthy meal. The idea for a food pantry came when co-founder Susan Villagomez noticed that her friends had to choose between textbooks for a semester, or food. So she wrote a letter to Grand Valley State University’s President Thomas Haas, expressing her concern for her friends as well as other students who are facing the same financial difficulties (Dernberger, 2014). After reading Miss. Villagomez’s letter, President Thomas Haas commissioned the food pantry placing it in the Women’s Center in the Kirkhof Center. Miss. Villagomez to commission the food pantry. Even though the food pantry was created in order to help students Brittany Dernberger, assistant director of the food pantry, discovered that the food pantry has a major issue, students at Grand Valley have little to no knowledge that the food pantry exists. One of the main reasons for the unknown knowledge of the existence of the food pantry is because the food pantry is run in the Women’s Center in the Kirkhof Center. Males most likely never go to the Women’s Center explaining why the male population at Grand Valley do not know about the food pantry. Another


reason the food pantry is not well known is because the food pantry does not advertise. Most organizations become well known through emails, flyers distributed, sidewalk chalk, tables at Kirkhof, etc.; however, the food pantry does none of this, and instead depends on the word of mouth from volunteers or users of the food pantry to make the food pantry’s presence at Grand Valley well known. Although the food pantry is not well known, it holds strengths that make the food pantry’s existence profound. The food pantry is run by Grand Valley student volunteers who all share a common goal of wanting to ensure that no student at Grand Valley goes hungry. Having a strong group of volunteers who are share a common goal is a strength because it allows for the food pantry to constantly be highly productive. With everyone wanting for the food pantry to succeed no volunteer has to overwork to accumulate for a worker that is not trying. Alongside the strong volunteers, the food pantry receives a lot of help donation wise, mostly consisting of money, from Grand Valley’s faculty. A portion of the faculty’s paycheck goes to some of the organizations across Grand Valley that are primarily revolve around helping Grand Valley students. The food pantry has many strengths that benefit the students who use the food pantry. Aside from the fact that the food pantry is invisible to most of Grand Valley’s students, the food pantry has weaknesses that drown out its tremendous strengths. The main weakness is the space; the food pantry is held within the Women’s Center, which severely limits the amount of food it is able to hold, equating out the limiting the number of students the food pantry is able to help. Right now the food pantry is crammed for space to the point where some of the food donated, or purchased, for the food pantry is located in desk drawers. If the food pantry had adequate space, then the food pantry would be able to help out more students at Grand Valley, or would be able to offer more food to students who use the food pantry. With 60% of students last


year needing help, and more than likely more this year, the food pantry will need substantially more space in order to be able to help out all of the financially struggling students. Another weakness that is detrimental toward the food pantry is the lack of donations outside of the faculty received by food pantry. In concurrence with students not knowing about the food pantry, the food pantry receives little donations, in forms of food or money. This weakness can only be resolved if the first weakest is resolved as well; because if the food pantry receives bountiful amounts of donations, yet has no room to house the food, the food would expire before it could be consumed by a student. (Dernberger, 2014). The goal for this campaign is to increase the number of students who use the food pantry by 20%, while gaining more publicity for the food pantry in hopes of achieving more donations and volunteering for the food pantry by 10%. Making the presence of the food pantry well known should equate to the increase of donations, both in food and money, received by the food pantry. Through examining how other food pantries have succeeded, and through conducting research, the goal should these goals should be able to be achieved. This campaign is important because a bulk of Grand Valley students struggle financially and tend to let food come last when it comes to prioritizing how students spend money; and the food pantry can help ensure that students at Grand Valley receive a healthy meal and eliminate the number of students who have to skip a meal.


Secondary Resources


As discussed in the introduction, there are three main objectives when it comes to Grand Valley State University’s food pantry. The first objective is to make Grand Valley’s food pantry well known amongst Grand Valley’s student body, the second is to increase the amount of donations received by the food pantry, and the third objective is to increase awareness about hunger injustice. In order to best discover the best way to succeed with all three objectives, one must find figure out the best way to reach the attended audience. The target audience for this campaign is Grand Valley’s student body. Grand Valley is a liberal arts institution which houses culturally and racial diverse students. Grand Valley is also located in an economically struggling state. From this one can inferred that the students at Grand Valley are open minded students. The students come from different backgrounds and are brought together with other diverse students to an institution where everything is blended together and every opinion is accepted. Also considering the fact that a majority of the students are originally from Michigan, it can be inferred that most of the students have, or know someone who has, had financial problems. Through this analysis of the target audience, one can infer that a majority of the students at Grand Valley need financial assistance themselves, and /or know somebody who does; making the use of the food pantry more accepted among Grand Valley’s student body. The best way to figure out how to achieve the objectives for this campaign, it would be wise to figure out how other organizations across Grand Valley have succeeded connecting with the student body. Sidewalk chalk is a great way to let students know when something is coming up. Since sidewalk chalk is not limited to the inside of a certain building, more students will be more likely to see what is written. However, the downside to sidewalk chalk is that it is very weather dependent; meaning that if it rains the chalk washes away, and when it snows the artic


temperatures and vastly falling snow makes it impossible to use sidewalk chalk. A more frequent tactic used by clubs and organizations across Grand Valley’s campus is hanging flyers in buildings. This form of advertisement is popular because flyers can be used year around with no worries about how the weather will affect them. However, unless one puts the same flyer in multiple floors in multiple buildings, the odds of bountiful students viewing the flyers is limited. The most popular form of advertisement among Grand Valley is using tables out in the Kirkhof Center. Clubs and organizations reserve the table to get face to face contact with the student body where clubs and organizations talk to students, had out flyers, and get information about their club and organization about it. The downside to the tables it that in order to reserve a table a club or organization must fill out different forms and abide by certain policies. The organization must specify the type of event, fill out forms for that event, sign a food waiver, if there will be food, and fill out a sales and solicitation form if the club plans on handing out flyers or any other form of literature. (Student 2012) The next step to figuring out how to best achieve objectives to make Grand Valley’s food pantry successful, would be to look at how Michigan State University made its own food pantry successful. College food pantries are not common, having one so close to Grand Valley allows Grand Valley’s food pantry to learn from Michigan State’s food pantry has been open for 21 years, this gives Grand Valley’s food pantry 21 years of history to look at to learn from, 21 years of mistakes and success to learn from to help make Grand Valley’s food pantry the best it can be. On average, every year Michigan State’s food bank serves over 4,700 clients; they refer to them as clients instead of students because the food bank serves not only struggling students but also their families. Michigan State’s food bank is able to help all of these people because they have over 200 student volunteers every year. (MSU, 2008). However, as impressive as this is, the


point of viewing Michigan State’s food bank is to see how it is so well known. One of the main reasons Michigan State’s food bank is well known is because, in today’s technical generation, Michigan State’s food bank has many different social medias on which they inform and promote the food bank. Two of the major social media cites that Michigan States food bank uses is Facebook and Twitter. Beginning with Twitter, #MSUFOODBANK has been and still is trending on Twitter with its last hashtag being posted in February. #MSUFOODBANK is being tweeted by many of people, ranging from a Michigan State Twitter account to students who attend that Michigan State. Michigan State even has a very active Twitter account itself called MSU Student FoodBank. The account currently has 134 followers and it discusses opportunities to for Michigan State students help the food bank and discusses achievements within the food bank. (MSU, n.d.) Michigan State also has a food bank Facebook page, MSU Student Foodbank, with 439 likes; the Facebook page is updated more frequently than the Twitter account, and also spreads news about the food pantry. (MSU, 2012) In the social media world, Facebook has outranked Twitter; which is why Michigan State’s Food Bank’s Facebook page gives out more information and reaches more students than its Twitter account. While the previous information will be useful in discovering strategies and tactics to help make Grand Valley’s food pantry more well-known and help spread knowledge about food insecurity, being able to convince the student body to donate, money or food, is different thing entirely. Taking a look at nonprofit organizations will give insight on how to best get students to not only donate, but want to donate in order to help out struggling students. ASPCA is a nonprofit organization that has made it its mission, according to founder Henry Bergh, “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the


United States” (ASPCA, n.d.). The way that ASPCA convinces people to donate, to help out abused animals, is mainly through commercials. The commercials are based on how the viewer will take it emotionally. The song Arms of an Angel, plays as the abused animals are displayed, ending with Sarah McLachlan holding a dog and saying how for only a small amount of money the viewer can end the animals suffering. The music playing in the background only add to the emotional appeal that the commercial radiates. The combination of the visual and hearing, seeing the abused animals and the music in the background are what draws the viewer in and makes the viewer feel a personal connection with the animals on the television screen. Together the visual and sound make the viewer feel as though they have the power over if the animal will be abused or not when the when the viewer is informed that if they donate a little bit of money a day then when the commercial informs them that the viewer’s change could save the animals lives. Another nonprofit organization that has successfully been able to get others to donate to the organizations cause is UNICEF. UNICEF’s mission is to end children’s world hunger. Similar to ASPCA, UNICEF uses commercials as the organizations prime source of connecting with others. However, instead of using clips of abused animals with music in the background, UNICEF shows images of starving children while the story of the children’s lives replaces the music. The background story of the children’s lives along with the image of the children, gives a visual image to the story making the story the viewer hears appear more credible. This also creates a connection for the viewer with the children displayed on the television. Proceeding the tragic life of the child, the viewer is then informed about how they have the ability to help the child that they are now emotionally attached to, by donating a small amount of money. This results in the viewer feeling guilty if they don’t donate, and it will lead the viewer to think about the starving children on the commercial, even for a while after the commercial has ended.


Ultimately the emotional connection to the child increases the likelihood that the viewer will donate to UNICEF. If the viewer does donate then the donator receives a picture of the child they are helping, increasing the odds of the person donating again and again by giving them a visual reminder of a suffering child and how little it took to help said child. (UNICEF, n.d.) After seeing how Michigan State’s food bank, ASPCA, and UNICEF are all successful, next one must look more depth at Grand Valley and how its students best take in information or are influenced in order to figure out how best achieve the campaign’s objectives.


Primary Research


After going over the information received from the secondary resources, a survey was distributed amongst Grand Valley students and a small group of Grand Valley students agreed to meet for a focus group, the two forms of primary research produced bountiful amounts of useful information was discovered. Both the original survey, the survey results, the focus group questions, moderators guide, and the results can be found in the appendix. This section will cover some of the important responses received from both the survey and the focus group and how the response is important to this campaign. Beginning with the survey, the first question revealed that out of the 100 respondents that took the survey, 55% of the respondents did not know that food insecurity is a problem on Grand Valley’s campus. This could explain why very little students on Grand Valley’s campus donate to the food pantry. There is no point to donate to something if no one is using it; if more and more students discover how much of a presence food insecurity has on campus. If more students know about the presence of food insecurity on campus, more students would be prone to donate to the food pantry to help out the struggling students. The respondents to the survey informed that the stigma most attached to the food pantry is shame. Grand Valley is centered in a state where the economy is struggling and most citizens suffer from the repercussions of the economy. Shame being the biggest stigma being associated insinuates that if food insecurity, on and off campus, were made more notable, then more students wouldn’t be afraid to use the food pantry. Also more donations would be given if students knew how many students needed the food pantry. The survey also unearthed that Facebook is the most used social media site around campus, with Twitter following closely behind. In the technology driven society that consumes Grand Valley’s students, this reply shows what two major ways to reach, contact, and inform the students is. In the end, the student’s answers, have helped narrow down what social


media sites to use; instead of randomly choosing or trying to use all of the social sites. The respondents have helped to cut down time and increase the odds of social media working in the food pantries favor. Going hand in hand with the how to get the messages and information to the students is, how to convey the message to the student body. The survey results showed that humor is the type of messaging that appeals most to Grand Valley’s students. Looking back at the secondary resources, the two non-profit organizations, UNICEF and ASPCA used emotional as the type of messaging used. However, emotional was ranked third highest at Grand Valley indicating that if the food pantry wants the majority of the student body to listen and be impacted by the messages conveyed, then the food pantry needs to send out messages or information by means of Facebook and the message must be funny. If the messages don’t fit into both of those criteria’s, then the odds of students ignoring the food pantry and the messages and information it sends out increases dramatically. The survey has helped to understand the broadness of what students know, involving the food pantry and food insecurity, and how to best convey messages and information toward the students. However, focus groups allows the food pantry to go more in depth than the survey, because the participants responses are allowed to create their own answers, give examples and tell stories, instead of check one of the answers to the questions. Taking a look at the focus group results not only amplifies what the survey told, but also gives some new insight on how to achieve the three main objectives for the campaign. While the survey showed that a vast amount of students were not aware that food insecurity was a problem on campus, the focus group unraveled that none of the participants involved in food group has ever been, or has known someone who, uses the food pantry. While this just confirms what is already known, the food pantry is not well known amongst Grand Valley students, the continuation of the responses given gives a new insight into what was previously unknown. The


respondents discussed and shared personal stories about how they had helped out in food drives growing up; indicating that the concept of food insecurity is not foreign and if given the chance, students will help out those in need. If donating, food or money, to the food pantry were to be well advertised, the respondents answers indicate that students will be highly likely to donate or volunteer at the food pantry, as respondents have done in the past with donating or helping to run food drives. During the focus group, respondents discussed how the food pantry is doing, in terms of communicating with the public and how the food pantry could improve. While every participant of the focus group strongly believes that the food pantry does not do a good job communication and advertising with Grand Valley students, the respondents did have plenty of ideas on how the food pantry could better advertise itself. Some members suggested handing out a flyer or brochure to incoming freshman during freshman orientation. This way the students will have known about the food pantries existence from the very beginning. If taken this route then the advertising for the food pantry throughout the year would not a high priority because every student has heard about the food pantry from when the students were freshman. Other students suggested that the food pantry should try to communicate with students through direct email. The participants went into detail when discussing how, every student checks their Grand Valley email at least once a day. This would make reaching the broad masses of Grand Valley optimal, however, the students warned that too much advertising would result in students deleting the emails instead of reading them. Sending out emails informing students about the food pantry, or food insecurity, and donations that are needed by the food pantry once a week would insure that the messages hit the peak volume of students while not suffocating the students with advertisement that they begin to ignore the emails.


Participants of the focus group also suggested that the food pantry creates a Facebook page. Remembering how the survey results showed that Facebook was the social media site most used, creating a Facebook page would be an ideal way for the food pantry to advertise itself and communicate with students. While not every student at Grand Valley can afford a meal, most, if not all, of the students have a phone and use it regularly to go on Facebook. Facebook connects people from all over the world and if used correctly, Facebook can connect the food pantry with students at Grand Valley. Having a Facebook page would be ideal because, if one person likes or shares something that the food pantry has posted then it will appear on that persons news feed allowing for friends of that person to see it, and bring awareness of the food pantry to those who may not have heard of it. Now that other food pantries and non-profit organizations have been examined, and different ways to best reach out and connect with Grand Valley’s students has been examined, it is time to combine what has been discovered in both, secondary and primary research, and come up with a plan on what to do to increase the number of students who use the food pantry, increase the number of donations received by the food pantry, and increase awareness in food insecurity.


Objects, Strategies, And Tactics The best way to achieve the three objectives is to use the three most dominant forms in today’s society: social, print, and live. Considering the fact that every student at Grand Valley is


different and is influenced in a different way; using three different media forms for each objective helps to increase the chances for the campaign objectives significantly. Increasing the number of Grand Valley students who use the food pantry will be done in three ways. For social media, this objective will be achieve by having the food pantry create a Facebook page. As discussed previously, Facebook is the number one most used form of social media among Grand Valley’s students; making the concept of a food pantry Facebook page ideal. The Facebook page will be ran by volunteers of the food pantry, and the volunteers will post something on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. By having the volunteers only do it on those three days, the odds of students seeing what is being posted is still high, while insuring that the students will not feel as though the food pantry is bombarding them with posts. When the volunteers do post something on the Facebook page, it will alternate between three things, present information about the food pantry, data or pictures, and a piece of history from the food pantry. Mondays will be the day that the Facebook post will be about how the food pantry is doing now, information about any event coming up, or anything spectacular that is happening involving the food pantry. Tuesdays will be the day that the post is a picture or data. On the one hand, the pictures of can be of the food pantry itself, volunteers, signs, anything relating to the food pantry in pictorial form. On the other hand, the data will be how many people have used the food pantry in past semesters, how many students are financially unstable, anything relating to the food pantry in data form. Wednesday’s posts will be dedicated to the history of the food pantry; any piece of information, how it was founded, who the first workers were, or any interest fact surrounding the history of the food pantry. By doing this the food pantry gives the students a


variety of information, yet the information is always similar; it keeps the students interested without confusing them with something completely different with each post. For the printed media aspect of increasing the number of students who visit the food pantry, the food pantry will create and hang a banner off of the archway in the Kirkhof Center. The Kirkhof Center is in the middle of the Allendale campus and has many students pass through it a day. The banners are one of the first things that captures student’s attentions when they are passing though. The sign will have an image of the two co-founders of the food pantry, Susana Villagomez and Rachel DeWitt, along with contact information, the location of the food pantry, and the information that volunteers and donations are always appreciated. The banner is a great and constant reminder to the students that the food pantry is available for those who need it. (To see the banner see Appendix E.) The final form of media that will be used to help increase the number of students who visit the food pantry will be live media, a table at the Kirkhof Center. As previously stated, Kirkhof is in the center of Grand Valley’s Allendale campus and sees an abundance of students every day. By having a table in the Kirkhof Center once a month, the person on person interaction will diminish any stigmas relating to the food pantry and help to increase the number of students who use the food pantry. On the table will be a brochure with information regarding the food pantry, where it is, how many times a student can use it, contact information, history information, donation information, etc. The human interaction will make it easier for students to get answers to any questions they may have and having a person advertising for the food pantry will be seen as a credible source. With the combination of a food pantry Facebook page, a banner, and a table in Kirkhof, the numbers of students who use the food pantry will increase.


To achieve the second objective, increasing the number of donations, food or money, received by the food pantry, the first media to use will be social, or students Grand Valley email account. Students check their school email account at least once a day to see if classes are cancelled, to communicate with classmates on a project, etc.; this makes email a top choice when it comes to social medias that will connect the food pantry with students. Once a month a volunteer at the food pantry will create an email that will be sent out to every student, faculty, and staff member at Grand Valley asking for donations to the food pantry. The email will then be checked by two other volunteers before assistant director Brittany Dernberger reviews it to ensure that the email will be ready to be seen by everyone affiliated with Grand Valley, and if Miss. Dernberger approves of the email then it will be sent out. Using the Grand Valley State email ensures that everybody within Grand Valley is reached and asked to donate. If the Grand Valley affiliates were asked to donate every day, people would become emotionally detached and eventually delete the email without reading it, sending out an email once a month eliminates the risk of emotional detachment and increases the likelihood of donations being given to the food pantry. To increase the donations using the printed media, the food pantry will create flyers (to see the flyer see Appendix F.). The flyer will be created by volunteers at the food pantry and Miss. Dernberger will review the flyer and let the volunteers know if it is good or what should be changed. After the flyer has been deemed viewable by Miss. Dernberger, the students will print one off and go to the copy center in Kirkhof to make two hundred fifty copies. After all of the copies have been made the volunteers will hang them inside Grand Valley buildings on the Allendale and Pew campuses; at least one flyer will be on each level in every building. The left over flyers will be stored and brought back out when the volunteers go to distribute the flyers


again. Having flyers in every building on the two campuses help to ensure that a wide variety of students and faculty will see the flyers. The volunteers at the food pantry will hang the flyers up before each semester starts and halfway through each semester, to ensure that every Grand Valley student will see the flyer. Using flyers is a great way to spread a single message, donate to the food pantry, while covering a great distance. In order to get students to donate to the food pantry, by using live media, volunteers will advertise for donations in front of the blue statue, behind the old library, once a month. The statue symbolizes how students transform and grow throughout the student’s journey at Grand Valley. The volunteers will have giant poster board with sayings relating to donating to the food pantry painted on them. While advertising donations for the food pantry, the volunteers will be instructed to talk to the students who pass by to try to form a connection making the students the volunteers talk to more inclined to donate. It is harder for people to say no to donating when someone is asking them in person, which is why live media is a very important aspect of getting students to donate to the food pantry. To increase awareness surrounding food insecurity by means of a social media, the food pantry will create a Twitter account, and tweet on about food insecurity. As discussed in the primary research portion of this campaign book, Twitter is the second most used social media on Grand Valley’s campus. Twitter is not far behind Facebook, and has the capacity to reach a lot of students. The Twitter account will be ran by volunteers, and the volunteers will send out a tweet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The tweets on Tuesdays will be about food insecurity either on Grand Valley’s campus or in Michigan; while Thursday’s tweets will involve either America or the whole world; bringing a variety of information to the students, while it all covers


a single topic. Twitter is a great way to contact and inform students, about food insecurity, in a way that the students are accustomed to receiving information. To inform the student body about food insecurity, the food pantry will release a press release in Grand Valley’s newspaper (to see the press release see Appendix G). A group of volunteers at the food pantry, about four to five volunteers, will collaborate to create the press release. The press release will allow students all across campus to be able to learn about food insecurity, and relays the same message to many people. Press releases are seen as credible and informative, meaning that people won’t write it off as an over exaggeration or a lie. The press release allows for the food pantry to reveal a lot of information to many students without seeking out the students. Informing the students about food insecurity in person is a great way to ensure that the students are hearing about food insecurity in the first place. Having volunteers talking about food insecurity by the clock tower is a way to ensure that students are hearing about food insecurity. The clock tower is the center of Grand Valley’s campus in Allendale, guaranteeing that the volunteers will reach many students. The volunteers will stand by the clock tower with posters that have facts about food insecurity painted on them. By having the volunteers talk to students and informing the students about food insecurity, awareness in food insecurity will rise. Using the three medias, social, printed, and live, are the best options when it comes to achieving the objectives for this campaign. Also using volunteers to do the bulk of the work helps to cut down on cost, as will be discussed in the next section, while ensuring that the quality of the work will remain high. The volunteers care about the food pantry and want it to succeed, meaning that they will work hard every step of the way.


Budget And Timeline


Using volunteers to complete the tactics is one of the best ways to cut down costs when it comes to the budget. When creating the budget and timeline for this campaign, both sections were given breathing room because it is better to have extra time and money at the end of each tactic than to need more of each. Timeline and gant or budget charts are represented at the end of this section to show how each is represented visually. To show a couple of examples of what is meant by breathing room, first take a look at the Flyer tactic for the increasing awareness in food insecurity objective. The Flyer tactic is given a budget of eight dollars, this is how much money assistant director of the food pantry Brittany Dernberger makes an hour, to allow Miss. Dernberger time to look over the flyers to ensure that they are up to the food pantries expectations. More than likely it will take Miss. Dernberger fifteen minutes to look over the flyer and either agree that the flyer is ready to be printed or give the volunteers making the flyer advice on what to change about it; this alone cuts the total budget used down four dollars. In the end this will allow any of the extra money to either, be used in an area that requires unexpected extra costs, or to be saved and used at a later date. The timeline runs along the same effect, the volunteers at the food pantry are first and formally students at Grand Valley and the volunteers need to focus on homework and projects for classes. Allowing extra time to prepare and evaluate each tactic, ensures that the volunteers have time to properly accomplish each task, avoiding the stereotypical college kid motto of accomplishing tasks at three in the morning because they had no other time to do it. For example, creating and ordering the banner to increase awareness in food insecurity should not take two months. However, the two months allows for the volunteers to take time and produce quality work, along with giving Miss. Dernberger time to look over the banner and make any corrections necessary. The timeline and gant charts are created to give the good pantry a little bit


of “wiggle room�. This will ultimately ensure that the tactics are all done to the best of the food pantries ability and will increase the odds of the tactics, and campaign itself, being successful.


Gant Chart Food Pantry



Total Cost



Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for 7 months, a volunteer will create a Facebook post.




A banner will hang in Kirkhof Center for 7 months.




Once a month for four months a table advertising for the food pantry.


Food Pantry:

Donations: A volunteer will send out an email once a month, for 7 months, to any affiliated with Grand Valley. At the beginning and middle of each semester volunteers will distribute flyers throughout the Allendale and Pew campuses.








Volunteers will paint please donate on poster and talk to students about donating at the statue.




Every Tuesday and Thursday for 7 months a tweet will be sent out involving food insecurity.


Press Release


Volunteers will create a press release that will be put into Grand Valley's newspaper.





Clock Tower


Total Costs


Volunteers will paint please donate on poster and talk to students about donating at the clock tower once a month for three months.




Timeline JUN .

Food Pantry: Facebook Banner Kirkhof Table Donations: Email Flyers Statue Insecurity: Twitter Press Release Clock Tower Key: Planning Executing Evaluating








A P MAR. R .




After every tactic is complete the food pantry will evaluate the outcome and decide if the tactics were successful, which will decide if the campaign was successful. On a broad scope, if two of the three objectives were successful, then the campaign itself will be deemed successful. Likewise, if two of the three strategies were successful, then the objective was also successful. When it comes to evaluating the Facebook, one would have to look at the analytics portion of the Facebook page. Every Facebook page comes with analytics for the page. This allows the creator to view how many people have looked through the page, clicked on links or pictures or anything that is displayed on the page. The analytics portion of the page also allows for the creator to see at what times and day’s people were more opted to look at the page. To determine if the Facebook page has been successful, the food pantry must see a steady increase on the number of people who follow the Facebook page. If the page has a steady incline of students who continually view or “like” the page then the Facebook tactic will be deemed a success. To see if the banner is a success, the food pantry will have to create a survey and hand it out to students when they use the food pantry. The survey will inquire how the students heard about the food pantry; if seventy five percent of the students check the “banner in Kirkhof” option then the banner too will be deemed a success. The table inside Kirkhof will also be deemed a success if sixty percent of the students who take the survey at the food pantry circle the “table at Kirkhof” option. The reason that the banner is expected to have a higher percent is


because the banner is hanging in Kirkhof every day for seven consecutive months, while the table is up once a month for four months. To determine if the emails sent out are a success, a link should be included at the bottom of the email that would bring the viewer to the food pantries Facebook page. This will allow the analytics of the Facebook page to show the food pantry how many people have clicked on the link. If fifty percent of the students who were sent an email click on the link then the emails will be successful. When it comes to flyers or the statue, when students donate, money or food, the food pantry will inquire the donator what prompted them to donate, if sixty percent of the students respond with the volunteers at the statue or the flyers in the building, then those tactics will be deemed successful. For the food pantries Twitter account, it will be deemed successful as long as the number of followers increases throughout the semester. Also the success for this tactic will be determined by the number of retweets or mentions in a tweet involving food insecurity in which the food pantry is tagged in. At the end of the executing phase, if the food pantry receives fifty retweets or fifty mentions surrounding food insecurity then the Twitter account will be successful. The press release will be deemed successful by the number of copies of Grand Valley’s newspaper that are taken. If more than a hundred and fifty copies are taken then the press release will be deemed a success, also if anyone contacts the food pantry to find out more information involving the food pantry and says they got their contact information from the press release, this will add on to the success. For the clock tower tactic, a survey will be emailed at the end of the executing phase, inquiring about food insecurity on and off campus. One of the questions will ask how students have learned about food insecurity on campus; if more than half of the replies have the food pantry advertising at the clock tower, then it will be deemed successful.


While evaluation is not the fun part of the campaign, it is the most important part. It will show whether or not the campaign was successful along with showing which tactics were most successful. If tactics were not successful, figure out what went wrong, and brainstorm ideas on what could cause the tactic to succeed if it was tried again. Never give up and stay open to all ideas.


Appendix A.


Moderator’s Guide I.

Introduction a. Hello, my name is Kelsey and I will be you moderator today. b. The purpose of this discussion today is to talk the GVSU Student Food Pantry and

how to raise awareness for it. I will be asking you for your thoughts, opinions, and personal experiences. c. I am conducting this research for the purposes to creating an effective campaign

to raise awareness of the GVSU Student Food Pantry. I am not here to sell anything, simply to hear your thoughts concerning the food pantry.


Ground Rules a. This session will last around 50 min. b. This session will be audiotaped, but I may also take additional notes. c. There are no wrong answers in this research forum, I am looking for different

viewpoints and ideas. d. It is important to have input from everyone. e. Please avoid side conversations that do not concern the session, but feel free to

discuss ideas relating to the questions among each other.

37 f.

Please turn off or silence all electronic devices, such as cell phones.

g. Does anyone have any questions before we begin?


Background (5 minutes) a. Please take a few moments to meet the person next to you. b. In your introductions please discuss hobbies, families, and interests. I am going to

ask you to relay this information when you introduce one another to the group.


Previous Experience-General/Specific (20 minutes) a. Were you aware that GVSU had a Student Food Pantry? b. Have you used the GVSU Student Food Pantry in the past? c. If yes, how did you hear about it? d. Have you ever had need of the GVSU Food pantry, but did not use it? Why not? e. Do you have any experience with food pantries, or food assistance in the past? f.

Do you think college students are embarrassed to use the food pantry?

g. How do you think more awareness could be brought to the GVSU Student Food



Communication (20 minutes)

38 a. What channels do you most often receive information from? i. Would you say social media is one of those channels? b. What channels of communication to you seek out most? c. What channels of communication to you view as most credible? d. What social media do you most use? How much time/week would you estimate? e. Do you think the GVSU Student Food Pantry does a good job communicating? f.

Have you seen any advertising/PR for the GVSU Student Food Pantry?

g. Review Communication Ideas (ex. social media awareness campaign) h. What do you think about this approach to raising awareness? i.


Is it memorable? Is there anything you dislike? Do you find this channel credible?

Close (5 minutes) a. Thank you for your comments, input, and time. This has been a very valuable

discussion. This will be very helpful in formulating an effective campaign that benefits GVSU students the most. Thank you again.



Appendix B.

Focus Group Results

1. The participants involved in the focus group had never been to the food pantry, nor do

they know anyone has used the food pantry. They had no prior knowledge of its existence; however they have participated in food drives through schools and church events. One of the focus group members explained how she use to witness many people


paying for groceries using food stamps when she worked at a local grocery store by her house. 2. During the focus group, the members if they thought there were certain stigmas

associated with the food pantry, and the members gave mixed responses. On the one hand some members believed that many students would not be embarrassed to use the food pantry, because a major stereotype associated with being college student is being poor. Plus most college students have finical problems. On the other hand, some members of the focus groups believe that some students will have a problem accepting help from the food pantry, or believe that, since they are not homeless and they can afford to go to school, that students will believe that they are not struggling financially enough to use the food pantry. 3. Focus group members were asked what ways the food pantry could advertise that would

catch their attention. Members said that handing something out at, freshman or transfer student, orientation, or a flyer in the big packet students received at orientation would be helpful. Other members said a flyer members suggested that the food pantry should give information to students, or parents, when students are purchasing a meal plan would be a good time to advertise. A couple of members of the focus group suggested that, Grand Valley finds out which students would qualify for the food pantry and send some information to those students through direct mail. 4. When asked what types of communication were most effective, the most popular reply

was through direct mail. The members of the focus group also said that sending things through Grand Valley’s email would be helpful, as long as too many advertisements


weren’t sent because eventually that would get annoying to students and they would end up deleting the emails before they read them. The members said the next best way would be social media, but again don’t send out an abundance of notifications about the food pantry. One example given was that the food pantry should make its own Facebook page and only post things when a special event is coming up. While many of the focus group members liked this idea, every member agreed that getting information about the food pantry through their Grand Valley email would make the information more credible to them. Having information about the food pantry in brochures at the financial aid office would be another source of credible communication. Then when asked what social media site the members use the most, they all said Pinterest with using it on average five to ten hours a week. 5. When the focus group members were asked if they believed that the food pantry did a

god job communicating to students, every member said no. They talked about how none of them had ever heard or seen anything about the food pantry, and if there had been a form of advertisement, then they didn’t notice. The members believe that if the food pantry creates its own Facebook page, then the food pantry could post information and upcoming events involving the food pantry; creating a good form of communication between the food pantry and the student body. The members of the focus group discussed how someone should have to like the food panty’s Facebook page in order to get notifications about it, making sure that those who receive information have an interest in the food pantry. This would make reciprocates of the information more likely to respond to the information they receive. However, they members also warned that if someone has no prior knowledge about the food pantry and see something about it on a social media


cite, then they would be less likely to view it as credible. Focus group members all agreed that social media should be used as a secondary source; while flyers and brochures should be used as a primary source that promotes the secondary source by saying something along the lines of “like us on Facebook� at the bottom of the flyer or brochure. 6.

The focus members were asked if it would be ok for the food pantry to put more than just informational things on social media cites. They all agreed that as long as it went with the overall mission and message the food pantry was trying to convey, then it would be ok to put/post other things.


Appendix C.

Survey 1. Do you think food insecurity is a problem on campus? •



45 2. How many times in the last school year have you or someone you know had to skip a

meal due to being unable to afford it? •


Once a Month

Once a Week

Once a Day

3. If you were given a $100 for the month, how would you budget it? Rank in order of

importance, 1 being most important. •







4. Would you use the food pantry to supplement that $100 budget? •



5. What stigmas are attached to use of the food pantry? Check all that apply. •


46 •


Not Accepted

No Stigmas Attached

Other (please specify)

6. What social medias do you use the most? Rank in order of most used, 1 being the most

used. •






7. What attributes or qualities make a social media site credible? Check all that apply. •

Frequency of Posts


Non-Profit Source

For-Profit Source


Posted Data or Statistics

Other (please specify)

47 8. What types of messaging is most appealing to you? •





Other (please specify)

9. How do you receive most of our information regarding Grand Valley? •

Social Media

Printed Advertisement (Posters, Banners, Flyers)

Word of Mouth



Other (please specify)

10. Now that you are aware of the GVSU Student Food Pantry would you use, or

recommend, it? •






D. Survey Results









Appendix F.




Appendix G.

Press Release:

April 13th, 2014 IMMEDIANT RELEASE Food Insecurity on Campus Allendale, Michigan


Everybody always jokes around about the college students ‘Ramon Noodles Diet’. However food insecurity is a real thing that is happening on campuses across America, including Grand Valley’s. Many students across Grand Valley’s campuses don’t know where their next meal will come from; yet, no one wants to talk about how college student’s financial struggles are leading them to have to choose between textbooks and meals. College students across America have always had problems financially which has often led students to have to skip meals due to lack of funds. However, in today’s declining economy the problem has only intensified. Food insecurity amongst college students is a growing problem, yet no one wants to admit that they are facing it in fear that they are alone or will be mocked for it. However, the problem cannot be solved unless it is addressed and people are willing to admit that they are faced with food insecurity. Grand Valley State University’s is working toward making the presence of food insecurity well known so it can be solved. Grand Valley’s food pantry wants to eliminate food insecurity so that no college student has to miss a meal again. Grand Valley’s food pantry is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The food pantry is located in the Women’s Center in the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale campus. It was founded when student Susana Villagomez discovered that her friends were having to choose between textbooks and meals. If you would like any more information regarding food insecurity or the food pantry feel free to contact the food pantry by calling the Women’s Center (616) 331-2748, or emailing the Women’s Center at


Appendix H.

References ASPCA. (n.d.). In ASPCA. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from Dernberger, Brittany, Personal Communication, (2014, January 14). MSU Student Food Bank. (2008). In MSU Foodbank. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from


MSU Student FoodBank. (2012). In MSU Student Foodbank. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from MSU Student FoodBank. (n.d.). In MSU Student FoodBank (MSU_FoodBank) on Twitter. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (2014, February 27). In Students Food and Nutrition Service. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from Student Organizations-FAQ. (2012, September 7). In Student Organizations-FAQ. Retrieved April 12, 2014, from UNICEF United States Fund. (n.d.). In About Us Humanitarian Relief for Children/ UNICEFN USA. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from Using Credit Wisely. (2013, February 27). In Money Smart Lakers. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from


Appendix I. Digital Copy

campaign book  

Kelsey Baker April 15th, 2014

campaign book  

Kelsey Baker April 15th, 2014