It wasn’t until my third year at HSU that I discovered Oh SNAP! and I wasn’t alone in being so unaware. Oh SNAP! Is a food program on campus for students, by students. Their mission: “to increase access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all Humboldt State University (HSU) students by engaging in campus and community partnerships and by raising awareness of food insecurity among our peers.”
I spoke with a staffmember at Oh SNAP, Ravin Craig, a member of the Recreation and Wellness center and in charge of some of the programs and asked them what Oh SNAP! means to them.
“Oh SNAP! Is a student-led initiative to make sure students have access to the food that they need to succeed – to have the food they need to be their best,” said Craig. Focusing on cultural foods and allergies are another big thing. ‘Having cultural foods is also important. Helping students find where they can get certain foods. For some people, they need to know where the food came from or how the food was treated. We meet a lot of different needs that are culturally appropriate. Food is a basic human right and having restrictions don’t change that.”
In 2016 Oh SNAP! conducted a study of HSU students showing that 53% of students suffered from low or very low food insecurity, while 59% of students make their meals smaller to prolong their food supply or altogether skip meals. Without proper food, people have increased stress levels, lose sleep, suffer a loss in productivity at work and school, and their mental and physical health suffers.
“Up until the pandemic, there were large increasements of students needing Oh SNAP! even with enrollment decreasing. Food insecurity is not unique to HSU it’s part of all CSU,” said Craig. “ Seeing the future of Oh SNAP! Our goal at the moment is to stay consistent. We’ve had gardening classes before but it was never fully planned out and would just be something people would walkthrough. Working with different partners to actually host gardening hours and classes. It’s a big change and. There could be some movement from campus. There’s food politics and food sovereignty. Agriculture or food politics that academically would serve well for students. Many people use the serves but there’s a lot of students who are interested in the way Oh SNAP! is even needed.”
Food insecurity is a major public health problem in today’s society and Oh SNAP! is here to help. They provide basic necessities and connect people with resources like CalFresh and other outreach programs and events. Oh SNAP! also provides an on-campus food pantry with free fresh fruits and vegetables during the fall for all HSU students.
There are many ways to join Oh SNAP! through working, volunteering, internships, and even clubs. September 14th is Oh SNAP!’s first cooking class of 2021 with Roger Wang, Associate Dean of Students on how to make mac & cheese. There are many videos of past cooking classes available on their website for free. Make sure to check out the Oh SNAP! calendar for pantry open times and when fun events like cooking classes are.
Oh SNAP! is in the process of moving from the JGC back to the Recreation and Wellness Center and will be releasing their full fall schedule soon. All distribution will be held outside their location. Oh, SNAP! Will be closed this week. Students can also book appointments for Calfresh Outreach.
Fall 2021 Hours:
Wednesdays (Farm Stand, Fresh Produce Only): 10:30am-2pm
Thursdays (Bags of non-perishables with fruit when available): 2pm-6pm
Friday (Bags of non-perishables with fruit when available): 9:30am-11:30am and 2:30pm-4:30pm
Saturday (Bags of non-perishables with fruit when available): 10am-3pm
It is possible that a few times throughout the semester they will be closed to fully restock. Make sure to check out Oh SNAP!’s Instagram (@hsuohsnap), sign up for their mailing list, or regularly check out the Oh SNAP! website to know when these happen. All hours are also posted outside the Recreation and Wellness Building.
Craig wanted to give one last message to anyone who reads this, “If you have ever thought about using our services but were unsure come by and talk with us. You can schedule a Zoom meeting too. We can talk about anything. It doesn’t have to just be about Oh SNAP or the pantry. It’s always better to ask than to not. It’s nice to know that there are people around that can help and answer any questions you might have.”