November 22, 2017
Dear ArtCenter Community,
As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday, ArtCenter recognizes that some of our students experience food insecurity. As we strive to achieve excellence in education and build an inclusive, empathetic community, we must rely on our combined efforts to help all students succeed.
What is “food insecurity?”
Food insecurity is defined as the economic and social condition (usually at the household level) of limited or uncertain access to adequate food—enough good, healthy, culturally appropriate food to sustain an active healthy life.
Food insecurity is different from “hunger,” which is an individual-level physiological condition that may or may not result from food insecurity. In 2016, it was estimated that in the United States, 41.2 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, including 28.3 million adults and 12.9 million children. It is important to note that the majority of people who are food insecure do not live in poverty, and the majority of people who live in poverty are not food insecure.
Many students facing food insecurity may be forced to make the difficult choice between buying food and purchasing supplies, or buying food and paying rent.
What can ArtCenter do to help students who are experiencing food insecurity?
We will be developing and expanding basic support services pioneered by the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) to assist as many students experiencing food insecurity as possible:
Please note that none of these programs and services are being funded by student tuition
How can I help?
All members of the campus community are asked to be mindful of the current programs in place and to pay attention to future announcements about other services. Please refer students in need to the best and appropriate places for help and support.
Remember that food insecurity is a life circumstance that can be related to economy, access, social class, race, ethnicity, gender, family structure, age, employment, ability, mental and physical health, etc. and therefore it can be more hurtful than helpful if you make assumptions about anyone who asks for help to manage food insecurity.
We recommend that you listen carefully and compassionately affirm the realities that someone is facing, and then offer assistance by explaining some of the College’s resources candidly and openly, and perhaps following up with that student later. Shaming someone with judgment or presumption only adds bias and mistrust to an already delicate and difficult situation. We want all students to know that we support their education, development
On behalf of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion, thank you in advance for your support of this important initiative.
Lorne M. Buchman
President, ArtCenter College of Design
Members of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion Food Insecurity working group:
For more information about food insecurity, read:
United States Department of Agriculture