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Claire Allison knows what many people may not: Hunger is a reality on college campuses. Her job at the UA is to help alleviate that hunger through the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry and the Razorback Food Recovery program, which recovers surplus food to donate to the hungry. The pantry provided more than 300 meals per week during the past school year.
During her tenure, Allison has brought in two grants from Tyson Foods that together totaled $260,000. “That’s really allowed our programs to move into a whole new realm and provided a lot of material support,” such as a walk-in freezer, she said. The grant money also allowed the creation of training programs for other campuses around the state to start food insecurity programs similar to the UA’s. “I’m particularly proud of that.”
This year, she helped put together a Food Waste & Hunger Summit at the UA that drew over 250 representatives of national nonprofits and student groups engaged in hunger relief across the country. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at the event.
Allison likes working with students and wants to continue to work on hunger issues. “I feel like that is just an incredible need that’s growing in a lot of our communities and something that is really going to require a lot of attention going forward.”