44 percent at some point did not have enough food for themselves.*
Students should never go hungry or skip meals because they can’t afford enough to eat. That’s why AU developed The Market, a food pantry for students, run in partnership with students, and located where many students live – at a residence hall, where it can be accessed easily, seven days a week.
How Does The Market Work?
It runs on the honor system. Students can access The Market any time it’s open, on their own, using their AU One Card. Shoppers are encouraged to select the food items they need from the shelves, with no restrictions but consideration for others. The Market is located in Letts Hall, is accessible, and is open 18 hours a day. It’s operated by the Office of Campus Life in partnership with students.
Where Does the Food Come From?
One key source has been the Capital Area Food Bank’s highly regarded pantry partner system. At the end of Fall semester 2018, AU Dining will also donate the value of all unused meal swipes up to $10,000 to the AU Market – so unused meal swipes will fund food for others.
Why Is it Needed?
We know that food insecurity has increased on college campuses across the nation. At AU, a student-initiated survey in 2016 found that too many students went hungry at least once a semester, and sometimes more, because they couldn’t afford to eat. The Market was launched during the 2017-2018 Academic Year to address those needs. Currently, over 360 AU students are registered to access The Market.
6 am-12 pm
2 pm-2 am
Location is Letts Lower Level, Room 2. The entrance is across from McCabe Hall on the opposite side of the building from the Letts residence hall entrance.
Accessing The Market is easy! Any student can request access by filling out an online form. All you need is your AU email address and AU ID number. You’ll get a confirmation email within two business days (the time it takes to set up the request), and then you’ll be able to access The Market using your AU One Card.
Shoppers, please help us to make this a great place to use when you need it! The Market is self-serve, so please record the items you’ve selected (there’s a station conveniently set up inside The Market for that).
The Capital Area Food Bank, one of our partners, prides itself on presenting items and information that enable its pantry partners to provide healthy and nutritious inventory. We also want to hear from you, the students, about your food needs! There’s a suggestion box with index cards so you can leave us feedback. You can also provide service feedback through email at The Market@american.edu
Capital Area Food Bank
The Capital Area Food Bank will provide the bulk of our food supplies and host mandatory training for our staff to build necessary knowledge base titled: Partnering to End Hunger and Smart Shopping.
Center for Community Engagement and Service
The Center for Community Engagement and Service will assist volunteer recruitment and also help pick up items from the Capital Area Food Bank and other external partners.
College and University Food Bank Alliance
The Market is a member of the College and University Food Bank Alliance, a network of food pantries on college campuses across America.
Students who’d like to help out can assist in stocking shelves, maintaining inventory, picking up food items, or keeping the space clean. You can indicate interest through the Center for Community Engagement and Service and by emailing TheMarket@american.edu
59 percent were aware of another student who did not have enough food.*
18 percent had inadequate food supply three to four times a semester.*
*These results represent 700 responses, a 23% response rate to a survey delivered by email and social media and conducted in December 2016 by AU students. An updated survey, also conducted by AU students, has just been completed (as of late November 2018) and results are expected to be released shortly.