Emily Faltesek: Food Security Programs Coordinator

“Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.”

Maya Angelou

Food is more than sustenance, more than nutrition. Food provides an invitation to hear stories. It is an intersecting point for cultural debates about values and class identity. Food influences how we show up in the world and how we are seen. This multi-faceted understanding of food—one that embraces both the everyday and the profound—informs the way I see my work and fuels my excitement to join the Student Life team at OSU in the Human Services Resource Center as Food Security Programs Coordinator.

mugshot of emily
Emily Faltesek, Food Security Programs Coordinator

My professional background is in food service management as a registered dietitian nutritionist. I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and completed a dietetic internship there with a college support services/food service emphasis. Next, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, I managed the main kitchen, from assembling ingredients through all phases of food preparation. We mashed potatoes in an eight quart mixer, pumped seventy gallon batches of soup in the cook-chill unit, and dry-rubbed pork butts ready for the smoker. This last task was a big deal to the pulled pork lovers in Hawkeye country! Through these experiences at a hospital serving a diverse population, I developed a passion for making quantity food and for assuring access to healthy and culturally appropriate food choices. When I arrived in Corvallis, having followed my spouse for his faculty position, I found both community and a use for my skills at Stone Soup, the local soup kitchen. There I worked in different roles including meal planning, volunteer coordinating, and as a member of the board. Stone Soup’s philosophy resonated with me: A meal for anyone in need. 

My workdays here at the HSRC are varied and changing—the only constant is the great team of student staff and professional co-workers. I’m involved in meetings to build and maintain partnerships connecting the pantry to sources of food on and off campus. I receive deliveries from the Food Bank and Linn Benton Food Share and drive a van to pick up donations from community gardens. I serve as preceptor to interns and practicum students from dietetics and public health and coordinate shopping and storage at the food pantry. I help students sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (what used to be known as food stamps).

At the HSRC I aim to bring my expertise in food logistics and my commitment to food justice together to support the work of colleagues in creating and sustaining student-centered community. I hope to contribute to providing an affirming space for student voices to seek out needed resources in a manner that busts stigma and makes the request feel as natural as a haircut. In our work, we try to make receiving food assistance comfortable, and part of this role involves responding to the systems and structures that contribute to food insecurity and amplifying the voices of students saying food insecurity is a problem. In short, we need to do better.  We need to emphasize the message of the buttons we hand out: “College hunger isn’t a rite of passage.”

My experience as a new member in the HSRC team!

Human services resource center (HSRC) is located in Champinefu Lodge at the Oregon State University. I first came to know about the HSRC when my roommate told me that “There’s this awesome place that puts money in your student card for food.” I went onto their website and learned that not only with food insecurity but HSRC helps people with textbooks, housing, and other facilities like free laundry, showers and printing etc.

Being a student, especially an international student, it is very hard to take care of yourself while dealing with the school stress. There’s so many students who just eat one meal and get through the day with that. One thing I learned throughout my time in OSU is that taking care of your health is more important than anything. Nobody should skip their meals to buy course materials; but unfortunately, we all do for our own reasons.

I always wanted to work at a place that helps people making their lives a little easier. I was searching a lot, and then I found out HSRC had a job opening. I knew this was it. I was always so impressed by the HSRC team and what they did for students and the OSU community. I applied for the job as  Textbook Lending Program Coordinator and got this job after going through an in-person interview.

The first person I met here was Erica. She was one of the GTA’s who worked with us and guide our way. After my first interaction with Erica, I knew working at the HSRC was going to be a great experience. She introduced me to the awesome team we have here, and gave me a full tour of the place. Each one of our team members welcomed me as if they knew me from earlier. They all were so welcoming and made sure I was comfortable and all settled here. I love asking questions and for my luck, people here at the HSRC love helping you with any concerns too. The work place is highly open for new ideas and our boss makes sure we all are heard and gives us the required feedback. We have staff meetings every other week where we discuss every possible work related agenda, and where we give our feedback to our boss on how things are working overall. I believe these meetings are a great way to discuss any negatives, or positives happening at our workplace. Other than that, we have one-to-one interactions with one of our GTAs every other week. In these conversations we can talk about anything work related or our personal lives. These interactions helped me a lot to lower my school stress and to ask any random questions about work.

Overall, my first term working at the HSRC has been great. I learned a lot about our food pantry, textbook program, SNAP program and all the other amazing services that we have here. I love our team, and their enthusiasm to help others. I am looking forward to my time here in the coming terms.

Get to know our staff: Arisa Larmay Barrientos

Name:  Arisa Larmay Barrientos

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

HSRC Job Title: Textbook Lending Program Assistant

Major: BS in Microbiology and BS in Nutrition

Minor: Chemistry

Career Aspirations: My career aspirations include going to medical school and becoming a doctor- specifically an Anesthesiologist. I want to educate and advocate for people who are not able to cover their healthcare expenses or have opted out of treatment because it was a financial burden.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?  Last summer, I went through a difficult time. I was homeless, couch surfing with friends, would pick cans/bottles out of the trash and recycling to buy something to eat and didn’t know what was next. I ended up meeting with Miguel, our Basic Needs Navigator at the HSRC to talk about emergency housing and my life turned around. He connected me with resources to help me get out of the difficult time I was going through. When I heard the HSRC was hiring I knew I had to be a part of this team. It’s a wonderful feeling when you find out about a resource that improves your life. That’s what we do here.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to dance and stay active. I also like helping others and giving back. Thus, I started a nonprofit called We Care & Can* with a mission to provide financial support to people who don’t have health insurance, their health insurance does not cover certain health related treatments or the large copays and high deductibles have left them with large healthcare bills.  We do this by collecting can/bottle donations. Donate your cans/bottles on campus to any of the following locations:

  • Ettihad Cultural Center- SEC 380
  • Science Success Center- Kidder 109
  • LSAMP Center- Waldo 123
  • Cesar Chavez Cultural Center
  • Women and Gender Center
  • Pride Center

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal? I really like cheerios with yogurt or carrots with hummus. You get a balance of proteins, carbs and fats.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Use coupons or discounts. The Student Survival Kit has some great coupons! Sometimes the Memorial Union has extra so go ask at the informational desk. If you sign up for TOGOS you get $3 off. Check out OSU’s calendar free food events and @eatfreeOSU on Twitter or @hsrcosu on Instagram. Sign up for SNAP benefits, if you have questions feel free to contact us to set up a meeting at 541-737-3747.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis? I like to get a blended black tea with peach and passion fruit from Dutch and go to either of my two “secret” spots to clear my head, think and take a break from school.

 

*We Care & Can is in the process of becoming a registered 501(c)(3).

Get to Know Our Staff: Rosalie

Name: Rosalie Bernabe

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

HSRC Job Title: Food Pantry Assistant

Major/Minor: Psychology with French minor

Career Aspirations: My biggest goal is to start a charity to give scholarships/grants to students of color with mental illnesses. I also want to open a private practice and offer as many free services to low-income communities as possible. I want to travel and connect with people from different cultures and learn their languages/dialects.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to join the team of amazing people doing amazing things. This was a great opportunity for me to become more involved and learn about ways to help people gain access to necessary resources.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love dancing- if all else fails, I will become a dance instructor. I also enjoy writing, reading, snacking (a lot), watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal? Instant noodles are awesome. Also, the HSRC has a “Forgot your Lunch?” area and a twitter to keep up with free food events on campus @eatfreeOSU.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Open a savings account, put money in it every paycheck, and tell yourself it isn’t yours. You could also put money in jars for specific events or goals. Having someone to hold you accountable (friends/family members) is also helpful, but it’s important to remember they won’t always be there to do so.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis? I love taking walks around campus and downtown; the scenery is just tooo good! Whenever we feel overwhelmed, my friends and I like to go on random adventures.

Get to know our staff: Nav

Name: Navdeep Kaur

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

HSRC Job Title: Textbook Lending Program Assistant

Major/Minor: Computer Science with my focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to develop my own website that will offer various things to help the people in need. I also want to work with a company that will help me gain all the experience that I need to go out in the real world and work on my own.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I wanted to work at the HSRC because I love helping others. When I first heard about the HSRC, I was so amazed by the work they do. Working at the HSRC means meeting new people, making connections and it gave me a chance to be an active part of the OSU community too.

What will we be working on this year?

I will focus on reaching out to more people about our textbook lending program and HSRC.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I like to make some tea or coffee and watch Netflix. I also play badminton when I have time.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make?

My favorite quick, yummy and cheap meal is egg sandwich. I just make an omelet and put it in toasted bread with mayonnaise and ketchup.

Do you have tips for students on how to save money?

My first tip would be to get involved with our HSRC. We have all different kinds of services that can help a student save a lot of money. My second tip would be to make food at home instead of going out to eat because I saved a lot of money when I stopped eating outside everyday.

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis?

Corvallis is all about nature. I love going to  the different parks . I like to walk around Downtown Corvallis too in the night.

Get to Know Our Staff : Asra Noor

Name: Asra Noor

 

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

 

HSRC Job Title: Food Pantry Coordinator

Major/Minor: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on Computational Molecular Biology

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a research scientist in pharmaceuticals .

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I wanted to work at the HSRC because I wanted to get more involved with the community. As an international student, I felt very limited in my connections with the OSU and the Corvallis community. Furthermore working here allows me to reach out to more people about the resources that the HSRC has and spread awareness. I think it can be really tricky to navigate life as a full time students and through the HSRC I get to provide support and guidance.

What will we be working on this year?

I will be working on organizing Food Pantries throughout the year. My goal is to make the Food Pantry a a very welcome place with enough resources to increasing number of patrons.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free-time I like to watch YouTube videos, go on walks, read and relax.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make?

My go to cheap meal is Kimchi Ramen, it’s not very healthy but it is so good and it’s cheap!

Do you have tips for students on how to save money?

I think from my experience I have learned to meal prep, you will not realize how fast the money goes when you are eating meals out everyday! It makes a huge difference to your bank to not eat out everyday!

 

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis?

I really enjoy going to different parks with my cat and friends and taking evening walks.

Job Posting: Food Security Programs Coordinator

 

Colorful berries are in green berry baskets
In the summer and fall months, fresh produce is an important part of our food security efforts – and will likely be so for the coming years.

We are excited to announce that the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) at Oregon State University is recruiting for a Food Security Programs Coordinator to increase capacity and support for the food security programs at the HSRC. Questions or inquiries about this posting should only be directed to Tara Sanders, search chair – Tara.sanders@oregonstate.edu

The Human Services Resource Center is currently seeking a full-time (1.0 FTE) Food Security Programs Coordinator at Oregon State University. This position will administer most of the HSRC’s food security programs, which currently include: a robust campus-based food pantry, outreach to students who may qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, select social media accounts , and the HSRC’s cooking workshop series. The Food Security Programs Coordinator will supervise student staff and advise interns and short-term volunteers. The position will be responsible for maintaining both the general safety and food safety of the HSRC Kitchen and HSRC Food Pantry.

This position is part of the HSRC Leadership Team, guiding the strategic direction of the HSRC. The position is charged with building the HSRC’s capacity to provide resources, conduct outreach, and offer programming to students focused on food security. The bigger theme of this role is to cultivate a sense of abundance on campus that further connects and enriches our students’ experience at Oregon State University and their broader communities, particular in conversations about poverty, classism and economic opportunity.

For more details and to apply online, visit  https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/73567

An archived PDF of the position posting can be found at this link: Food Security Programs Coordinator

Deadline for applications is April 04, 2019.

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: http://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/hsrc

Get to Know Our Staff: Vicky

Name: Vicky Nguyen

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

HSRC Job Title: Events and Programming Assistant

 

Major/Minor: Human Development and Family Sciences with a pre-nursing focus.

Career Aspirations: My career goal is to become a registered nurse. I would like to one day work with either pediatrics, neonatal, or adults in the ICU.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work at the HSRC because I want to help students that were going through the same thing I am going through.  No one should feel like they have to skip a meal, not knowing where they are going to sleep, or whether they should continue their education because of the expenses. Working here allows me to reach out to more people about the resources that the HSRC has.

What will we be working on this year? I will be working on creating, as well as collaborating events with different clubs and organizations on campus. My goal to have meaningful events that will educate and promote what we do here at the HSRC.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I like to just relax with a face mask and watch puppy videos on YouTube!

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal to make? My go-to cheap meal is spring rolls with peanut sauce. It’s a quick, easily, AND healthy.

Do you have tips for students on how to save money? One thing that I would recommend is to not impulse buy. Really think through about whether or not you really need it or if that money could go towards something else. Another tip is to start a change jar. You’d be surprise about how fast it adds up!

What is your favorite thing to do in Corvallis? I really enjoy going to Benny’s Donut and trying trying their monthly flavors!

 

 

Here to help

Navigating college as a first-generation college student can feel like making your way through a maze with no map, filled with “learn as you go” lessons, and “crap, I wish I knew this then.” When you combine that with being low-income, it can feel like you’re navigating the same maze blindfolded, on a tightrope, balancing multiple responsibilities. It should not be like this.

I started OSU in 2008 and graduated with my masters in 2014. Recently, I returned to OSU to serve as the first ever Basic Needs Navigator at the HSRC. My role boils down to connecting students to resources that help ensure basic needs are being met. I also support students as they navigate institutional policies and procedures in search of resources.

At the end of the day, I am most concerned with connecting students to resources (this often means $$$), so they may only worry about studying for midterms, not about how they will eat or pay for rent. Since July, I’ve helped students access over $161,500 dollars in resources. Keep reading to learn how I can help alleviate financial stress.

 Above are some common ways I help students access $$

I know firsthand how difficult it is to navigate college on your own. Of seven siblings, I was the first one to attend college. I have one memory in particular about my transition to OSU, no matter how far removed I am from it, I feel what I felt then by just thinking about it. 10 years ago, I was walking across from where my office is now, Champinefu Lodge, eating cheerios out of the box- it was the only thing I had eaten that day. I had no money to buy anything else. Out of the blue, I began to sob as I stuffed handfuls of Cheerios into my mouth. It was 10pm, dark with no lighting, I assumed no one would see me cry. I had never felt so alone in my life. Not knowing where to go or who to turn to for help, I felt like I had no choice but to get through this experience alone. “Who else would be experiencing this in college?”I thought to myself.  

The reality was that I was not alone in my experience. Of the 970 OSU students who applied to the Food Assistance Application in the Fall of 2018, 54% percent were “very-low food secure” as determined by USDA’s Definition, with 18%  of applicants reporting to have gone an entire day in the past 12 months without eating because of financial concerns. That is 172 students, 42% higher than last year when 117 students reported that!

I was not alone in my experience back then, and you are not alone in your experience today, WE SEE YOU! The HSRC is here to help.

What can I help you with?

Almost anything! I’m kind of like a generalist who is pretty savvy about finding things out and navigating resources. I get paid to navigate, it’s literally in my title! If I do not know the answer to your question, I  know the person who does & I will walk you over to meet them (unless it’s raining. I can’t do wet socks). Here are some common things I can often help with:

      • Access to  food & groceries
      • Unforeseen emergency expense causing barriers to enrollment
      • Tuition refund due to an extenuating circumstance
      • Lost scholarships due to unforeseen circumstances
      • Finding help paying for utility bills
      • Signing up for Oregon Health Plan
      • Grant money!- parent lost a job/financial situation does not reflect that of 2016 tax year?
      • Financial Assistance with a medical bill/emergency
      • Pell/financial aid running out a few terms away from graduation!
      • Hard time making ends meet
      • Feeling like you are a bill away from homelessness
      • Place to stay- homeless or housing insecure
      • Financial stress!

Why should you come see me?

“Miguel came in clutch when I needed help with resolving a hold I had on my account.” – HSRC student fall 2018

I helped 120-ish students access over $161,000 since I started in July. You might be missing out on resources that you would otherwise be receiving. Looking back at my college experience, I identified over $10,000 dollars that I missed out on because of bad advising or not being aware of resources. I will do everything I can to try to make sure that you will leave our meeting with knowledge of at least one new to you resource ($$) that you have access to, if not more.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are what your peers have to say:

I will try my hardest to figure things out together

“I took your advice… and I was awarded a scholarship of $1360 to cover my balances. As of right now, I have been able to sign up for a few of my classes…. I am forever grateful”

“Miguel’s best quality is empathy, he connects with the student in a way that he feels the student’s pain and stress, this leads him to want to fight and resolve the issues!…”

You might leave with a lot more than what you came in for

“Miguel has your back. Not only will he help you with what you’re seeing him about, but if he overhears another concern he will help with that too.”

“…Meet with Miguel about financial aid, food stamps and finding other financial help. He helped me so much!!! I really appreciate him”

Wrap around support in a supportive space

“Going into these types of meeting can be difficult because suddenly you are talking about yourself and the difficulty of your situation, which is hard to talk about in itself…Miguel works with you to meet you in a spot that you leave with a plan or next move and is focused on your overall well-being and your individual needs.”

“Miguel is very understanding and knowledgeable. He’ll ask you questions to get a full understanding of your situation without prying for any personal detail. He’s really pleasant and easy to talk to.”

I am here to support you!

You should not feel alone in your experience. College and academics are hard as it is- financial stress is the wrong kind of rigor many student face. Let me work alongside you to make it a little less stressful by connecting you to resources.

If you would like to find a time to meet or have questions, please email me at miguel.arellanosanchez@oregonstate.edu.

 

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.

 

Thanks,
Nicole