The University of Minnesota’s Health Sciences are collaborating on a network of care corners which serve as ‘take what you need’ food pantries, to help provide additional support in addressing the 11% of graduate students that struggle with food insecurity.
What is a Care Corner?
A Care Corner is a unique space that offers health professional students access to non-perishable foods and hygiene products in a discrete manner. These Care Corners can take form in cabinets, tables with baskets, and even refrigerators. They are located in high-traffic areas for the students increasing their accessibility. Furthermore, these Care Corners create an additional opportunity to provide students with information about the Nutritious U Pantry and other well-being resources available through the University of Minnesota and the state.
Why are Care Corners Needed?
The University of Minnesota’s Grad SERU data has shown that 11% of professional students are food insecure. The Care Corners were individually created to help combat the food insecurity among health professional students in addition to other resources offered by the University of Minnesota. More specifically, Care Corners help provide students with additional food between the openings of Nutritious U, an extremely beneficial resource that is open for a total of 24 hours over three days each month. Additionally, the Care Corners provide increased accessibility to food for health professional students as they are located in areas that are more heavily trafficked by this particular population. Overall, the Care Corners are a supplemental program that is working to improve food insecurity among health professional students.
Who are the Care Corners For?
Care Corners are primarily targeting health professional students and staff at the University of Minnesota. Some Care Corners are open to all of these students and staff members, and others are primarily open to the students within their school/program. Additionally, non-perishable foods and hygiene supplies can be donated to the Care Corners from students and staff, such as through the food drives operated each semester.