HBU’s Department of Student Affairs joined forces with Aramark in the fall 2021 semester to launch a meal scholarship program to provide meals to students in need.
“Food insecurity affects nearly half of enrolled students on college campuses. Many are unable to access or afford sufficient food and have resorted to attending classes on an empty stomach or making one meal last all day,” said HBU Assistant Provost Ed Borges. “At HBU, Aramark recognizes the need to support students experiencing food insecurities and in coordination with the Department of Student Affairs, provides meal plan scholarships to students in need.”
Aramark sponsored a total of 200 meals to launch the new initiative. Under the program, a designated number of meals were granted to award recipients in the form of meal swipes which were added to the student’s ID cards for use at the The DISH @ Baugh during the fall semester.
“We were happy to partner with Aramark. They were very gracious in offering to launch this program for our students,” said Borges, who oversees the Department of Student Affairs.
Seven HBU students were awarded meal scholarships through the program for the fall semester. One student received unlimited meal swipes for the fall 2021 semester; two students received 34 meal swipes, and the remaining four students received 33 swipes through the program.
Students in need were identified by team members from the Department of Student Affairs through the regular course of developing relationships with students and assessing their ongoing needs. Initiatives, such as Free Lunch Tuesday, a partnership of HBU’s Kaleo Discipleship and the Baptist Student Ministry was cited by team members as a useful resource for identifying students dealing with food insecurity.
Borges commended Dean of Student Success Samantha Bottoms, Director of Student Life Mon’Sher Spencer and Campus Visit & Event Coordinator Tiffany Charles for the work their teams have done on the front lines in engaging with and assessing the needs of students.
“Our staff really did a great job in identifying students who are being affected by [food insecurity]. They get to know students well enough to know the challenges they are facing,” said Borges.
Aramark Higher Education Food Services Director Benny Gilbert expressed hopes that students will join in the initiative in the future by donating unused meal swipes at the end of each semester for the benefit of students in need.
For more information, contact Benny Gilbert at 281-649-3360 or email bgilbert@HBU.edu.