Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

VIEWPOINT: Fight Food Insecurity


Two hundred twenty-eight packets of ramen, 61 cans of refried beans and a simple goal: fighting food insecurity and promoting dignity on a campus where 60% of students come from families in the top 10% of national incomes. Most undergraduate Hoyas have never had to think about where their next meal will come from. Maybe they will take advantage of their unlimited meal plan and pick up a famous Epicurean and Company chicken quesadilla, treat themselves by walking over to Curry N Pie to pick up a chicken tikka masala pizza or, if they are feeling lazy, really splurge and Uber Eats some McDonald’s straight to their dorm. But what about those who the meal plan does not necessarily cover: undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate and post-baccalaureate students and facilities staff who make sure we aren’t all living in our own filth? 

This is where the Hoya Hub food pantry comes in. Located on the fourth floor of the Leavey Center — in room 418, at the end of the hall to the left of the elevators — the Hoya Hub is accessible to any Georgetown University community member (undergraduate or graduate student, staff or faculty member) twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Inside, you will find a variety of common, nutritious and nonperishable food and personal hygiene products, including snacks like granola bars and popcorn, staple items like pasta and pasta sauce and amenities like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Although the Hoya Hub does not directly provide fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products or other items requiring refrigeration, partnered student organizations drop off rescued food from local businesses or fresh vegetables from the Hoya Harvest Garden.

The Hoya Hub provides Georgetown students the opportunity to simultaneously raise their awareness about food systems and food insecurity on campus and also meaningfully contribute toward making food access on campus more dignified. 

Starting in Fall 2023, the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service (CSJ) has incorporated the Hoya Hub into its operations. Since then, a team of 12 undergraduates has been working hard to organize, stock and maintain a daily inventory of the Hoya Hub, with the goal of ensuring that no member of the Georgetown community experiences food insecurity. While efforts to revitalize the Hoya Hub have been growing steadily since the CSJ assumed responsibility for the space this past fall, one major issue remains: How can we transform the Hoya Hub from a place where Georgetown student organizations dump their unwanted leftovers into a welcoming and inviting space for food-insecure Georgetown community members?

The Hoya Hub operates on the belief that no Hoya should go hungry and thus strives to be a safe, judgment-free hub where people can choose nutritious foods meant to cover short breaks or other unplanned gaps in access to meals. The Hoya Hub also aims to disrupt the negative stigma surrounding food pantries, empowering students to build dignified and sustainable food systems that both incorporate and provide for their local community.

As the student workers of the Hoya Hub, we call on students and student organizations to consider how their food orders can positively impact the fight against food insecurity. 

Though we appreciate that some Hoyas want to support our mission through donations of large trays of food or canned food drives, the Hoya Hub aims to provide and promote dignity for its team and visitors. Thus, enticing students to collect random cans of often expired food for the chance at winning an expensive prize or dumping leftover trays of food into the Hoya Hub under the guise of “not wasting food” does not uplift our mission. These seemingly small actions perpetuate the stigma surrounding our peers in need only receiving or being worthy of “leftovers” and unwanted food. These actions also encourage students to get engaged for unthoughtful reasons, rather than educating them about the wider issues surrounding food insecurity. Moreover, these seemingly small actions often create a mess, resulting in the food being thrown out anyway due to potential health risks. The Hoya Hub does provide to-go boxes for trays of food, but single, pre-packaged portions of food remain ideal. 

Taking the time to order individual meals for events, reducing order sizes and creating single portions go a long way in reducing food waste. Adding food safety labels and dates are also extremely helpful. These actions require just a little more thought and effort but can make a huge difference in the long run.

The best way to support the Hoya Hub Food Pantry is with financial donations that can be used to purchase groceries to stock the pantry. Make a gift to the Hoya Hub here: 

If you would like to join the Hoya Hub team, please fill out the center operations team hiring form found on the Center for Social Justice website (FWS-only): 

The Hoya Hub also offers an anonymous survey for your feedback, and we encourage you to send an email to [email protected] with a specific suggestion, comment, question or concern for a faster and more detailed response. 

Lastly, the Hoya Hub relies on contributions from people just like you! Thank you!

Edward Sun is a sophomore student in the School of Foreign Service. Lauren Amodio is a sophomore student in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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