TACKLING FOOD INSECURITY DURING COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the need for food assistance and healthy communities grows significantly. Currently, more than 1.3 million people in Tampa Bay are struggling with food insecurity. The Center for the Advancement of Food Security and Healthy Communities (CAFSHC) at USF works closely with organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay who are tackling the immediate needs of our communities to access services and help design blueprints to improve resources and combat hunger issues.
Feeding Tampa Bay delivers goods and services directly to individuals and families to address food insecurity and food sovereignty. CAFSHC's role is to provide the data and research used by direct service agencies, allowing these organizations to be targeted and strategic in their work, and therefore helping more people with their social, economic, physical and mental health in Tampa Bay and beyond.
The Center's research and work is constantly evolving to meet the current needs of our communities. At this time, CAFSHC is developing projects related to the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of those at high risk of food insecurity. We are planning several projects including:
- A study on food insecurity, loneliness and health among older adults in Tampa Bay during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
- A study on food insecurity, social support and academic success among Florida college students during and in the aftermath of the pandemic.
- Project Smart Food Choices for a Healthy Life: a food pantry and nutrition education intervention that provides food assistance and education for struggling families during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Who We Are
CAFSHC is a new center in the USF College of Arts and Sciences led by a director and three graduate research assistants. Together with our community partners, the CAFSHC team engages in research, education, program development and policy statements to connect communities to find solutions to food insecurity that will contribute to building healthy communities.
CAFSHC's mission is to transform the conversation about food insecurity using research, education and transformational programs to facilitate social equity that results in healthier communities.
Food is central to our survival, not only in terms of health — it is the social glue that binds people and creates a sense of identity and relationships within families and communities. People that experience chronic hunger and food insecurity have challenges that can threaten the social fabric of the family and community. By eliminating hunger and food insecurity, people can maximize their potential to be productive and engaged citizens.
Through its work with USF and community partners, CAFSHC is raising public awareness about hunger and food insecurity in Tampa Bay, conducting evidence-based research to find solutions and using expertise to leverage policy changes that benefit the region.
What Your Gifts Will do
With your contribution today, we can increase the impact that CAFSHC has on our local community during the COVID-19 pandemic — whether it be students at USF struggling with food insecurity, children and their families living in food insecure neighborhoods, expecting mothers needing to ensure the health of their babies, elderly community members living on fixed incomes, or the newly unemployed as a result of the economic fallout of COVID-19.
The research we are conducting in the CAFSHC by our students and faculty will have life-changing impacts on policies, procedures and worldwide education and awareness programs to ensure we are creating a future where EVERYONE has equal access to safe, healthy foods.
Thank you for your support!
Choose a giving level
Your gift of $10 supports research focused on eliminating hunger and food insecurity in the Tampa Bay community.
Your gift of $25 supports community-based research and provides incentives for participants who share their time and experience with our team.
Your gift of $50 provides applied research opportunities to our student researchers and aids in advancing their work by covering the travel costs associated with research and engagement activities at our community partner sites across Tampa Bay.
Your gift of $100 assists the center in hosting training workshops with community partners that will propel us forward in our goal of alleviating hunger and food insecurity in Tampa Bay and beyond.
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