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Ending Hunger, One Student at a Time— Join Us this National Hunger Action Month

Two dinner forks with embedded text: Struggling with Hunger? We Can Help You Now! Logos for Rio Salado and Full Cart. U.S. Hunger Logo

Ending Hunger, One Student at a Time— Join Us this National Hunger Action Month

“For us, the most basic premise we know is if you're hungry, you can't learn. Your brain goes into survival mode and so it is a need that we have to meet in order to accomplish our mission as a college.” 
—Vice President Student Affairs Greg Pereira

September is National Hunger Action Month so we’re taking action right now to make sure students and our community partners are aware of our Virtual Food Pantry, which provides hunger relief services to Rio Salado students in need.

If you are a Rio Salado student struggling with food insecurity, please do not hesitate to call on our counselors if you need help— with any obstacle interfering with your academic performance.  Call (480) 517-8785 or visit for immediate assistance.

Rio Salado launched a pilot hunger relief program in 2018 to serve online students experiencing economic hardships and food insecurity in all 50 states with U.S. Hunger, which was known as Feeding Children Everywhere at the time. The Virtual Food Pantry became a permanent student service in Aug. 2019 and has delivered more than 20-thousand servings of food since that time. Deliveries go directly to students from the U.S. Hunger Full Cart distribution center. 

Our Sustainable Food and Café at Rio teams joined in the effort by sharing recipes and instructional cooking videos.

Wellness Check: Where there is Hunger There Are Usually Other Challenges
“Our virtual pantry is just one of the counseling services we provide,” said Rio Salado Counseling Faculty Chair Melanie Abts. “Where there is food insecurity, there are likely other socio-economic hardships and challenges. As such, our counselors are prepared to help in a variety of ways.”

Rio Salado counselors work with students all across the country and are trained to identify and help students resolve challenges ranging from economic hardships, stress and mental health to career planning, resume building and interviewing techniques. Counselors assess each student’s needs to determine how best to address them, focusing on the most pressing challenges first and following up using a holistic approach.

Hunger Can Strike When You Least Expect It
On any given day, thousands of students struggle with chronic hunger, which means they may not know where they’re going to get their next meal. According to a 2019 Association of American Colleges & Universities survey, more than 60-percent of college students in the U.S. had experienced food insecurity within 30 days of completing the survey and housing insecurity within the past year. Those numbers have increased since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Learn more about hunger in America in this Food for Thought discussion with U.S. Hunger CEO Rick Whitted and Rio Salado Vice President of Student Affairs Greg Pereira, who address the misconceptions about student hunger, and how both organizations are working together to fight for food justice. 

We encourage you to join us this National Hunger Action Month in our effort to end hunger by helping your local food bank and your neighbors in need.

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