Students: Come work at the HSRC!

Please help us spread the word about this opportunity at the Human Services Resource Center: We are looking for three students to help us with various projects through the rest of the academic year – our existing staff is overwhelmed and overstretched and we need more students to help us serve students!

We are looking for the following:

A Food Pantry Assistant

A Textbook Lending Program Assistant

An Event and Program Planning Assistant


All positions will be cross-trained heavily to help where needed. For the first term or two, all of these roles can expect to do a lot of the following:


  • Working at our front desk, learning how to assist students with basics, answer common questions
  • Basic food pantry operations: how to make a food box, helping with deliveries, helping with food pantry nights/shopping days
  • Cross training and basic collaboration with other HSRC student team members


These three positions will also fall into one of the following three individual roles:


  1. Food Pantry Assistant: This person will provide additional support to food pantry projects, assisting the Food Pantry Organizer with needed tasks, but generally mostly supporting the HSRC Food Pantry. This would be a really great role for a student interested in food justice, food sovereignty, nutrition, food security, health promotion, retail/merchandising, non-profits, etc.
  2. Textbook Lending Program Assistant: the student who currently oversees the HSRC Textbook Lending Program will be graduating in May and we are hoping that the student hired into this role can work alongside current staff to learn processes and help make a transition to a new student staff as seamless as possible. This role is one of the most technical we have – it involves some database work, pulling some reports, and some skill with Microsoft excel (more than your average student may know). This would be a really great role for a student interested in technology, engineering, business/operations, etc. Any other student, interested in justice or educational access, and who isn’t afraid of learning new, somewhat intimidating computer skills/processes would also be well suited to this role.
  3. Events and Programming Assistant: This person will help plan events and workshops at the HSRC as we built out having more conversations about socioeconomic identity, classism and as we provide more skills workshops for our students (cooking classes, budgeting etc). This would be a good role for any student who wants to plan events and is interested in economic justice, social justice and/or topics related to food security, housing affordability and the challenges of being under-resourced while in college.


We hope and anticipate that students hired into these roles, if successful will be asked to return in subsequent years, possibly in other staff roles pursuant to the student’s interests and strengths.


The HSRC anticipates paying these students $11.75 to start and if they return to their role next year, it’s likely that they’ll then be earning $12.75.


Students must apply though the OSU jobs page for each position they are interested in. First priority for review of applications will be Dec 1 – we are hoping to hire and have these staff in place by start of Winter term.



Faculty and Staff: Share your SNAP Story

grocery isle and text reading faculty and staff, share your snap story with a logo for the SNAP program

Beavers know how to work hard – how to get out there and dig in to accomplish big things.

But a growling stomach is distracting and bound to slow down even the best students.

So many OSU students struggle to pay tuition each term – and sometimes having enough money for groceries is a stretch on a student’s budget and a major stressor.

Food insecurity and struggling to make ends meet while in college – these things aren’t new. Many faculty and staff on campus today relied on food pantries or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (colloquially known as food stamps) to get through their years spent on campus.

Even though so many people rely on SNAP and similar programs, stigma and shame can really prevent today’s students from seeking help.

Did SNAP help you? Share your SNAP Story.

Learning that the faculty and staff they respect and admire needed SNAP to get through college can really help students see that they’re not alone, that college is hard for many people – and that it’s ok to ask for help.


Sharing your SNAP story is easy – you can email us to get started or, if you’re feeling inspired and want to jump right in, write a few paragraphs sharing your experience, how SNAP (and perhaps other programs) helped you, and related “things I wish I’d known then.” Keep the tone casual and conversational. If you have any photos of yourself from that era, we’d love to include them too. Send us your SNAP story (email and we’ll help you share your story both on the HSRC blog, but also help get it out to students who really need to read it. We’ll do some minor edits for clarity and add some text about how students can get support with a SNAP application, but mostly we’ll leave your words as you wrote them. After we post your story, we’d love to work with you to help share your SNAP story with HSRC students – and those you may have worked with too.

SNAP stigma is real and we don’t think it’ll dissolve quickly- so we’ll be looking for SNAP stories for years to come. Graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni – if you’ve got a SNAP story, it can really make a difference to students to read.

Presentation: Textbook Lending Library at OSU

Abstract of the presentation: Lori Hilterbrand, Kelly McElroy, Nicole Hindes and Dan Moore talked about the Textbook Lending Library at OSU. Despite the clear negative impact of high textbook costs on students, limits—including space, funding, and policies—prevent many academic libraries from fully supporting textbook collections. Partnering with other campus units on textbook lending requires creative thinking but can provide students access to other services in addition to the books they need for class. This talk describes a partnership between an academic library and a student services unit to provide support for a noncustodial textbook lending program. The talk is about 18 minutes long with about 10 minutes in questions from the audience captured as well.

If you’d like to learn more about this project, the collaborating partners also published the article “Access Services are Human Services.

Food Recall: Chia Seeds


Oregon Food Bank issues alert on foreign material in chia seeds

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 12, 2018 – Oregon Food Bank of Portland, Oregon has initiated a Class II recall of 22,201 pounds of chia seeds, which were donated to the food bank. The product may be contaminated with rodent droppings. While no known illnesses have been associated with this product, use or consumption may present a health hazard to consumers.

The chia seeds were distributed in Oregon and Clark County, Washington through the Oregon Food Bank Network of regional food banks and participating food pantries. The product was distributed in one pound plastic poly film bags with a twist-type closure or a re-sealable pouch. All chia seeds distributed in the described packaging between November 1, 2017 and March 9, 2018 are included. See images of product labels for ease of identification.

bagged chia seeds bagged chia seeds

Consumers should dispose of the product immediately and can get additional information by contacting the food pantry where they received the product or from Oregon Food Bank’s Facilities and Regulatory Compliance Manager Ryan Wist at 403-419-4160. Anyone who has consumed these chia seeds and is experiencing symptoms of food borne illness should consult with their primary physician or county health department.

The issue was discovered through investigation of a customer complaint regarding foreign material. Product which was still in inventory at Oregon Food Bank was determined to contain rodent droppings. Subsequent investigation indicates the chia seeds were observed to have evidence of rodent activity by the donor, Live Local Organic of Milwaukie, Oregon. The recall was initiated after it was determined all chia seeds received in this donation might be at risk.

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 740,000 people through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at

The HSRC is recruiting for a Case Manager

We are excited to announce that the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) at Oregon State University is recruiting for a Case Manager for students in financial crisis. Questions or inquiries about this posting should only be directed to Molly Chambers, search chair –


The Human Services Resource Center is currently seeking a full-time (1.0 FTE) Case Manager at Oregon State University. This position will work in close partnership with the HSRC Assistant Director, serve on the HSRC Leadership Team, and foster relationships with both campus and community partnerships to assist students in accessing resources and solutions for increased retention and student success.  The Case Manager will be responsible for offering case management services using a social justice and equity based framework, in addition to maintaining a database and subsequent reporting processes for HSRC case management. This role will primarily oversee the HSRC Emergency Housing Program and serve as the main point of contact for OSU Corvallis campus students experiencing homelessness as well as students navigating social services in the Corvallis community. Additionally, this position will assist students experiencing financial insecurity through advocacy and partnership with the OSU Financial Aid office and OSU Financial Care Team to help students maximize all of their financial aid options that best serves their needs.

The working, student-facing title for this role will be Basic Needs Navigator.

For more details and to apply online, visit

An archived PDF of the position posting can be found at this link: Basic Needs Navigator Position Description Final

Deadline for applications is April 11, 2018.

About the HSRC:

Approximately 10 years ago, a group of OSU students saw the need for additional support for the classmates they saw experiencing housing and food insecurities. These students formally proposed a Human Services Resource Center that would be a one-stop location where students could get their basic needs met. Today, a national leader in this work, the HSRC remains committed to centering the voices of students, empowering and engaging them in college retention solutions and helping students meet their academic goals despite the challenges of being under-resourced.  Essential services provided by the HSRC include the HSRC Food Pantry, the Textbook Lending Program, Food Assistance program, and Emergency Housing resources. The HSRC is part of the suite of programs supported by the Office of Student Life and is almost exclusively student-fee funded. Further information about the HSRC can be found on its website:

Collaborative Social Justice Service-Learning

Transitioning to Inclusive Sustainability in an Insecure and Divided World

Brittney Chesher, graduate student, presents to a crowded room of professionals about the HSRC

Brittney Chesher, graduate intern with the HSRC, recently had the opportunity to be a presenter at the Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference held at Portland State University on February 7th. During the panel session, Brittney was able to share resources with attendees interested in learning how to better support college students experiencing food, housing, and financial insecurity. “The HSRC and UHDS are doing some great things and it was so rewarding to share tangible resources and potential next steps with other institutions in the region who are becoming aware of how important it is to meet student’s basic needs”. Brittney was able to share about resources that have developed at OSU in the past few years including: @eatfreeOSU twitter campaign, the HSRC Food Pantry, and the work that went into the an on-campus c-store, Cascadia Market, accepting SNAP funds.

Brittney’s presentation slides are available online.

Collaborating to keep costs low for students

The HSRC’s Textbook Lending Program, a collaboration with some amazing partners  OSU Valley Library has been an important success. We wrote about our work for the Journal of Access Services.

Access services are human services: Collaborating to provide textbook access to students

Written by Kelly McElroy, Dan Moore, Lori Hilterbrand and Nicole Hindes

Despite the clear negative impact of high textbook costs on students, limits—including space, funding, and policies—prevent many academic libraries from fully supporting textbook collections. Partnering with other campus units on textbook lending requires creative thinking but can provide students access to other services in addition to the books they need for class. This article describes a partnership between an academic library and a student services unit to provide support for a noncustodial textbook lending program.

The full text of the article can be found at this link.

Shopping-Style Food Pantry: What’s it like?

If you’ve never visited the Human Services Resource Center during days when we have a shopping-style food pantry, this post can give you an idea of what to expect.

As a reminder, you can find our schedule on our website – and you can visit during non-shopping style days and we can help make you a box of food.

The front of a mid-century modern looking brown building has stairs to one side and a ramp to the other.
We have a shopping-style food pantry 3-4 times per month. The sign outside our building says Avery House. The building is often named Avery Lodge (like on campus maps). Someday soon, the building will re-named. We know it’s confusing in the interim; unfortunately, there isn’t anything we can do.
a green sandshich board is at teh top of stairs
Anyone who meets income qualifications can visit the HSRC food pantry. This resource is not limited to students.

There is free street parking immediately in front of Avery on Madison Avenue, though it’s often full during the school day. More street parking can be found on adjacent city streets. The parking lot immediately East of Avery is monitored until 5:00 pm, as is the crescent campus lot 1/2 block away to the West. Further details can be found at the OSU parking page.  If you’re stopping in for a quick food box, you may find the 30 minute loading zone spots helpful.

A smiling woman sits behind a table with assorted papers
Before you can get your food, you’ll have to sign in at our welcome desk.

We know that some people might have concerns about data collection and privacy. The information collected on this form is not shared with the broader university. You can read more about our data collection and data philosophy on our website.

A hand is holding a pen and writing information on a form. The top half of the form is obscured by an orange sheet of paper.
Signing in is simple: you’ll just have to record your name, address, household size and sign your name to confirm that you meet income eligibility guidelines. The laminated orange sheet helps us protect the confidentiality of the individuals who signed in before you.

We get most of our food from the Linn Benton Food Share, our regional food bank. Using this sign-in form and following strict confidentiality rules are part of our agreement with them.

A form with text explaining income eligibility and non discrimination policy is obscured by an orange piece of paper.
When you sign in, the form has important information about eligibility criteria and our non-discrimination policy.
Income guidelines are similar to qualifications for other government and community support programs.
text of our non discrimination policy.
We take our non-discrimination policy seriously. If you feel like there is room for improvement, please alert a staff person.
multiple reusable shopping bags are heaped on a table.
If you have reusable bags, please bring them! This helps us keep food costs low. If you forget your bags, don’t worry, we have some paper bags for you to use.
An illustration of a van is on a card, with a capital V and a lowercase v on it. The card itself sits on the arm of a couch.
After you sign in, you’ll be issued a card – we’ll call this when it’s your turn (instead of your name or a number).
While you are waiting you can study at a table. We have wifi in our building and this might be a good time to get some studying done. Ask a staff member if you need to print something and we’ll show you where you can do so.
Couches are arranged in front of a fire place, with decorative squash in the foreground.
We also have couches and chairs to sit on while you wait your turn.
Diet Dr. Pepper and juice boxes are on a table.
We often have snacks available.
Chicken is in a bowl with rice, a cookbook is open to a page with the recipe for it.
Sometimes we have recipe tastings. This is Adobo Chicken from the Good and Cheap Cookbook, which you can check out from the HSRC.
Sometimes we have information about campus and community resources tabling at our pantry. Be sure to check these out, they’re often really helpful!
A volunteer wearing an apron holds up a card with an illustrated van on it and a capital V and a lowercase v
Keep an ear and an eye out for your turn. A volunteer or a staff person will hold up a card that matches the one you were given when you checked in.
Its your turn when a volunteer holds up a card that is the same as yours.
The volunteer or staff person will have a card that looks similar to this- and will help you keep track of how much food you’re able to take home. This is based on recommendations from the USDA and is a recommendation based on how much food a household of your size might need for about a week. This card is for a household size of 2 people.
Stacked of red and black shopping baskets
We have shopping baskets for you to use.

First, you’ll get to choose the fresh produce options you’d like to take home to your family.

Onions in a wooden crate.
In the winter months, sometimes we have fewer produce options.
Colorful berries are in green berry baskets
In the summer months, we sometimes have berries and carrots and broccolini.
Herbs and celery and parsnips and fennel
Sometimes our produce selection includes celery and fennel and parsnips and even herbs.

On average, each household that visits the HSRC gets about 5 lbs of produce per visit. We get some of our produce from the Linn Benton Food Share or from members of our communities with abundant home gardens. We are especially grateful for community gardens like Produce for the People and our partnership with the Student Sustainability Initiative, Growing Food Security who help us be generous with produce at the HSRC.

A white board is on a silver surface
Each freezer contains different items. The numbers indicate how many servings the item counts for. In this case, a whole chicken is four servings of protein.
Our freezers can also sometimes have frozen meals or frozen vegetables.
Eggs and margarine on a tray, on a black table
We usually distribute eggs and margarine on a one-per-household basis.

After you shop for fresh produce and frozen items, you’ll move into our dry-good storage area where you can choose from the shelf-stable items.

If you like raisins, we almost always have lots of them! This is our canned fruits and vegetable section. Each canned item usually counts as one serving.
We also have non-meat proteins like beans and nut butters.

If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, let the volunteer or staff person who’s assisting you know – we’ll make sure you get extra of something else to make things equitable. You don’t have to take home anything you don’t like or don’t need.

Sometimes we get items that are bagged and labeled like these oats. The state and regional food banks buy this food in bulk and do a re-package like this to help pantries like ours feed our communities at very low cost. Bagged items like this usually count as two servings.
white aseptic containers of chicken stock
Sometimes the food we get from the food pantry network has unusual labels or packaging. This is turkey stock.
silver bag of beef stew
This silver-packaging is a bag of beef stew.
bagged beans
This is a mix of beans, perfect for soup or chili.
Cereals, grains and pastas on shelves
We also have a selection of cereals, pastas, and other grains.
Bags of coffee and boxes of tea
Sometimes we get things like coffee and tea, snacks or other items. These are often one-per-household distribution items.
bagged tampons and pads
We often have a selection of menstruation products.
diapers and other items on a wire shelf
We don’t often have baby-items like diapers, but sometimes we do!
After you’re done shopping, we can help bag your items.

Once a volunteer has called your name, most people spend 15-20 minutes shopping for their groceries. We usually have a lot to choose from.

Two people wearing aprons smile for the camera.
Anyone wearing an apron is either a staff or a volunteer. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

On average, the HSRC provides 18 lbs of food per individual. If you’re a household of two, this means an average of 32 lbs of food!