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Natalie Shaak

College Student Food Insecurity: How to Make Real Change

Dec 21, 2021

Most people don’t think about college students when discussing hunger and food insecurity. Unfortunately, college student food insecurity is not as rare as most people think. According to numerous studies, 20 to 50 percent of college students in the U.S. experience food insecurity, which is consistently higher than that of the general population, but it is often an issue that is hidden below the surface of day-to-day interactions.

In this post, staff member Natalie shares her perspective on and possible solutions for the issue based on her personal work in higher education, the Center for Hunger-Free Communities’ research, and discussion from a recent Drexel panel on the topic.

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The Problem with Charitable Food: How to Really Address Food Insecurity

Aug 26, 2021

There are more than 15,000 food banks/pantries in the U.S. distributing emergency meals. That work has never been more needed than during the pandemic. But in reality, most charitable organizations addressing hunger are doing very little to truly solve the long-term issue of hunger and food insecurity.

As someone who has donated to and volunteered to support numerous charitable food organizations over the years, it wasn’t until Natalie joined the staff of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities that she realized how these "philanthropic activities" were more about making herself feel good than about actually addressing food insecurity. In this blog post, she shares what she has learned about the root causes of and possible solutions for food insecurity as well as alternative ways to make an impact on food insecurity as an advocate in your community.

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Unemployment Isn't "Easy"

Jul 29, 2021

Unemployment benefits have been labeled as an easier option than going back to work by many as employers face labor shortages in reopening after COVID-19 layoffs. But depending on unemployment in a time of need is not easy. The system can be complicated and cause harm to those utilizing the benefit. We must change how unemployment is viewed. It is an insurance policy, not a handout.

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Reflections on Juneteenth

Jun 17, 2021

Juneteenth is an important holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. As white allies, how do commemorate the day that represents freedom that is still being fought for?

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