Food Insecurity: PSU, Portland, and Beyond

Instructor Name: 
Julie Boyles
Course Description: 

While the term "food insecurity" has become known and understood, the implications and wide-ranging aspects of it have not. There are physical, emotional, psychological, cultural, health-related, as well as other manifestations that we explore. We look at how food insecurity impacts college students while struggling to remain enrolled; we look at the Portland area and Oregon as a whole; and we look at the national picture of food security in our country. We not only look at the challenges that Americans have in providing sufficient sustenance for themselves and their families, but we look at potential solutions or partial answers to this challenging issue through the impacts of government programs and a lot of nonprofit work outside of the public sector realm. As a teaching tool to coordinate and supplement readings, videos, and discussion, students offer service in a local nonprofit food-scarcity organization in their own area. This helps illuminate the topic beyond textbook learning and also helps tie a student into their own local context to gain a better understanding of the struggles in their own community. We also touch upon nonprofit structures, food deserts, food justice, and food equity, among others.