The Auxiliary Services Department in partnership with the Urban Experience Program recently donated more than $3,000 in food items to UEP’s Food Assistance Program. The latter works to aid low-income students with food instability and food shortage-issues in obtaining healthy and nutritious meal options.
“Because UH is an urban institution, our demographics include many low-income students — the Urban Experience Program gives these students a voice on campus,” Director of Auxiliary Services Deborah Davis said in a press release.
“As a service-oriented department, Auxiliary Services is proud to partner with UEP to help these students by providing them with nourishing snacks and meals to help them stay healthy and focus on their studies.”
Auxiliary Services donated more than 1,400 snacks courtesy of its vending partner Canteen and 180 meal cards through its dining partner Aramark. Students can use these cards in any of UH’s dining halls.
“UEP uses an innovative holistic advising model that services the whole student,” Raven Jones, director of the Urban Experience Program said in a press release. “We examine not only students’ academic, professional and personal goals, but also their health and wellness. A vast amount of our students do not have a meal plan. Therefore, they need other means to properly nourish their bodies.”
Management information systems sophomore Matthew Sananikone is enrolled in the UEP meal plan and said he recommends it to other students.
“It’s a good plan,” Sananikone said. “Students should know about UEP because it’s a really cheap option.”
The Urban Experience Program has more than 300 UH students enrolled and accepts 50 to 60 new students per semester.
Davis said she and other leaders in Auxiliary Services are working to broaden their partnership with UEP and explore more options to assist students on campus dealing with food scarcity matters.
“This is an important partnership, and (we hope to) work with our corporate partners to make this an on-going program,” Davis said. “We want to do everything in our power to make sure that UH students are living and eating healthy.”
Students like environmental science freshman Alyssa Holler will receive some reprieve with the partnership between UH’s Auxiliary Services Department and the Urban Experience Program now that more healthy food is being provided than ever before.
“I didn’t know this was a thing, but I’m glad that it is,” Holler said.
Many students from low-income homes find themselves cutting back on bare essentials for college expenses. Cheap, usually unhealthier food is typically their only option.
To get a meal card, students must submit an application and undergo an interview with UEP to evaluate their monetary situation.
Students can find out more about UEP by visiting the organization’s website at www.uh.edu/uep.