Get To Know Our Staff: Karen

Name: Karen

Pronouns: She/Her

HSRC Job Title: Events and Programming Coordinator

Major/minor: Merchandising Management, minor in Business Entrepreneurship

Career Aspirations: I hope to work for a corporation where I can help with the planning or the sourcing of products. My dream job would be to work for Nike, Columbia, or Adidas since we are very fortunate to have their headquarters here in Portland.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work at the HSRC to not only come to work and get paid but to help make a difference in someone’s life. It’s really fulfilling to personally see all the hard work and who you’re impacting.  

What will you be working on? I will be training our new Events and Programming Coordinator Mimi so she has the tools to successfully plan future events once i’m gone. I’ll also be working with Mimi on ideas for new events that she can potentially plan in the future, or new ideas for annual events that have been done.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I like to listen to music, spend time with friends and family, and when I have a lot of time in my hands I will work on Adobe Illustrator.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make? My favorite yummy and cheap meal that I make would have to be quesadillas.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Use the resources available to you! Use the HSRC resources, get roommates and share a room (cheaper rent). Attend events on campus and get free food!

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? Go out and hangout with friends! If i’m not busy then i’ll go to some home games for baseball, and football.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? My favorite spot to relax on campus would probably be at the SEC because it’s usually pretty well lit and it’s usually pretty quiet.

What is your favorite TV show and why? I’m going to be really basic and say Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

 

I Used SNAP Benefits in College and I’m Proud of It

Jenesis sits at a table outside with a laptop and a mug in front of herI Used SNAP Benefits in College and I’m Proud of It

By Jenesis Long, MAAPS Academic Counselor, Oregon State University

Being an OSU Honors college student from a low-income family, with a FAFSA EFC of $0, came with a unique set of challenges. Even with earning high grades that helped me get scholarships, working two work-study jobs, and going to every free event where food was provided that I could – I still needed more help to ensure my basic needs were met.

I had heard of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits available but had no idea if I would qualify or how to complete the application, so I postponed really looking into it out of fear. I even sacrificed eating regularly and didn’t always buy required textbooks to afford food and avoid accessing this resource.

The idea of needing SNAP (which used to be called Food Stamps) was just really hard for me to come to grips with. I spent hours trying to convince myself I didn’t really need it, that I’d be okay. I remember my roommate offering me food and asking if I’d go out with her to dinner and even offering to pay for my meals so we could hangout (food was a huge source of community!). I finally recognized that it was time to stop letting my pride get in my way and learn how to apply for SNAP benefits and accept that I really did need this service. So, I applied online and hoped for the best.

I was in my bedroom when the phone rang for the follow-up call to my application for SNAP benefits, and my heart was racing. I had no idea what to say (or not say). I didn’t know what they were looking for or what the rules were for eligibility. I was working on campus, so did that mean I wouldn’t qualify for the program? I earned scholarships that helped with my tuition, did that mean I “made too much” for help? I was just hoping that my situation would be “good enough” for their program.

Looking back, I wish I had accepted support more readily. I was so nervous for that call and had no clarity on what to expect. Knowing now that there are resources for OSU students that are seeking SNAP benefits makes me so happy!

If I had been more open to support back then, I definitely would have reached out to learn more about what the process would be like so it didn’t take up so much mental energy to prepare for. After going through what ended up being a pretty brief interview, I was granted the full amount of food benefits possible, I was SHOCKED! It would have taken me an extra 25-30 hours a month of work to earn those same dollars for food. SNAP benefits helped me to regularly have food at home, and provided me with a sense of stability that I couldn’t have achieved on my own while balancing going to lectures and labs, doing homework, working, sleeping, exercising, preparing for my career through internships, and trying to spend time with my friends and family.

Jenesis at an outdoor event with three friends(attending an OSU Football game with my roommate and our friends)

I used to be too fearful to use the HSRC resources. I never even went in to see the space or meet the people who worked there until I had been at OSU for two full years. When I did finally go in, I met welcoming and friendly people. I learned about all the resources available to students like the textbook lending program, the food pantry, and comfortable, safe spaces to spend time and meet new friends. I decided right then and there that I was a forever advocate and supporter of the HSRC.

Jenesis in graduation garb with her friend Alexsandra, also in graduation garb

(celebrating earning my bachelor’s degree at graduation with my friend, Alexsandra Cortes, CAMP – academic counselor)

After graduating from OSU with my honors bachelor’s degree in psychology, I went on to earn my masters of education in college student services administration and now serve as an academic counselor for a program that supports first-generation and low-income students, just like I was. I no longer need the support of SNAP, but am so thankful that I utilized that program when I needed it because it is one of the many support systems I needed to get me to where I am today.

Jenesis with a staff mentor on campus

(celebrating earning my master’s degree with my mentor, Kim McAloney, EOP – Academic Counselor/Academic Engagement Coordinator)

Now as an academic counselor, I tell all of my fellow academic counselors and advisors about the resources available at the HSRC and encourage them to make referrals to their students. As part of the training our staff of academic counselors did, we went and visited the new HSRC space in Champinefu Lodge and we all were delightfully greeted by a home-y, comfortable, welcoming space.

If you or someone you love is an OSU student with questions about how the HSRC can help you, what SNAP benefits are and if you qualify, or want to connect with other people who might be able to understand your situation and support you, I encourage you to contact the HSRC.

 

Human Services Resource Center

Champinefu Lodge
1030 SW Madison Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97333
Send Email
Phone: (541) 737-3747

Email:

hsrc@oregonstate.edu
hsrc.foodpantry@oregonstate.edu (for anything related to the food pantry – Please see the Food Pantry page for pantry hours, etc. )

Get to Know out Staff: Erica

Name: Erica

Pronouns: she/her/hers

HSRC Job Title: Food Security Programs, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Major/minor: College Student Services Administration Master’s Program

Career Aspirations: I hope to work as an academic advisor or study abroad advisor when I finish my program because I love building relationships and working one-on-one with students.  I aspire to be in a position where I can support students through their academic and personal struggles while helping them to recognize their own strengths and resiliency.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?: The HSRC is an amazing community. I love working with a team of people who are passionate about helping students meet their basic needs so they can thrive. Working here has given me the opportunity to develop a more holistic and deeper understanding of what is means to support students.

What will you be working on? I will be working together with the HSRC’s student staff to oversee and develop our food pantry, SNAP outreach and other food security programs. I am also excited to help develop and facilitate events centered around classism and class inequality.

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy taking time to get to know people and spend quality time with friends. Live music and nature bring me a ton of joy. I also love to watch cartoons and eat pizza.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make?:  Since cheese is my favorite food, mac & cheese is my go-to yummy and cheap meal. I like to add spices, brocoli, muchrooms and chicken to give my mac & cheese an extra kick.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Meal prepping is one way that I save money. I find that purchasing groceries at Winco and preparing my meals for the week ahead saves me money, and helps me to eat healthier. As a busy grad student it’s a challenge to find time to cook and save money by not eating out frequently.

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? Interzone is my favorite local spot to hang out and drink coffee. I also enjoy walking through Avery Park’s rose garden and Bald Hill.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? I really like the Graduate Resource Center because it has a massage chair and is usually a pretty quite place to study with free printing.

What is your favorite tv show? I love Bob’s Burgers! All the characters are authentic and hilarious.

Get To Know Our Staff: Breonna

Name: Breonna

Pronouns: She/Her

HSRC Job Title: Volunteer Food Pantry Liaison

Major/minor: Human Rights and Government with a minor in Social Justice

Career Aspirations: I hope to help those who don’t always have the power to help themselves on a personal and/or bureaucratic level. I’m not sure what that exactly looks like yet, but I want to help people.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work at the HSRC to get more involved with the Oregon State community as well as translate my major into a career. I believe people fall into unfortunate circumstances often times at no fault of their own and I feel obligated to help, however possible.

What will you be working on? I’ll be working on recruiting volunteers to help at our food pantries. I hope to inspire volunteers to return and see the difference they’re making while working hands-on in their community. I’ll also be working with organizations to host various food drives throughout the year.

What do you like to do in your free time? I don’t come across free time often but when I do I like to have board game nights with friends. It’s nostalgic playing childhood games and a casual way to hang out with friends without spending money! I also love plants. I like to visit Susan’s Garden and Coffee Shop. 

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make? I love cottage cheese stuffed tomatoes. Scoop out the insides of a tomato into a bowl, fry some veggies (I like to do mushrooms, onions and sometimes bell peppers) combine all of that with the cottage cheese, stuff the tomato and then finish it off with a 10 minute broil in the oven. Ahhh-mazing.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? I have a money jar that I put spare change or dollars in. If I have a few dollar bills, I just toss it into the jar. It has really helped me when I’ve been desperate for money.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis? My favorite thing to do in Corvallis is going to Avery Park when the weather is nice. You can swim in the river, hammock at the park or walk through the rose garden.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? The College of Liberal Arts has to have one of my favorite lounges. I like the quiet atmosphere and the location.

What is your favorite movie and why? My favorite movie is Moulin Rouge, I love Baz Luhrmann movies. The singing and hopeless romance get me in my feels. It’s also just a very different plot than most musical love stories.

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 HSRC@oregonstate.edu) 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.

Get To Know Our Staff!

Name: Anne

Pronouns: she/her/hers

HSRC Job Title: SNAP Outreach Liaison

Major/minor: I’m majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in Food and Culture in Social Justice.

Career Aspirations: There are so many things! Eventually I’d like to pursue a Masters and PhD, and hopefully end up teaching in higher-ed. I’ve always loved teaching and education, and in the meantime, would also love to pursue my passions for food justice and local sustainability through grassroots and non-profit work, in whatever form that might take.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?: I really wanted to find a place where I could make a real, tangible difference in the world, and try to make it better. The HSRC’s values of abundance and focus on putting students first really stood out to me; the way that students take ownership of the programs and events at the HSRC is really amazing. I love being able to come to a work space and be surrounded by individuals who are committed to pushing back against poverty, racism, sexism, capitalism, and other injustices that are so prevalent in our society.

What will you be working on? I will be working on developing the SNAP Ambassador program, which will aim to get students talking to each other about SNAP benefits, tearing down the stigma surrounding government assistance and educating their peers on what the college student experience might look like for under-resourced students. In addition to that, I will be doing outreach to students we believe might be eligible for SNAP benefits as reported by our Food Assistance Application.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love to read! It’s one of my favorite past-times- when I was in grade school I actually got in trouble for trying to sneakily read under my desk while the teacher was talking. I find myself incredibly busy during the school year, and often unable to do this, but when I have time, I really love cooking more elaborate and complex meals. There’s something really meditative to me about the process of putting together a meal. Even better is when I get to share what I’ve made with others!

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make?: Fried rice! I almost always have the essentials (in my opinion): eggs, rice, and soy sauce.  After that, if I have any veggies I’ll chop those up and throw ’em in! This is especially good for the veg on its last leg, like when the carrots get a little less crunchy and more bendy, or the bell peppers start to wrinkle. You can make a  bunch in one go if your pan’s big enough, and then have lunch prepped for the whole week. I’ll add different sauces like Sriracha, sweet and sour, General Tso’s, or teriyaki to mix it up throughout the week and keep from getting bored of eating the same thing. If I want a little extra protein, I’ll fry up an egg over medium to put on top, or mix in some cubed tofu.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? I love coffee, and especially during the most stressful, busy times of the term, find myself wanting multiple cups per day, but not able to go home to make them. Even if you just get drip coffee, 3 of those in a day equals like $6, which adds up if you do that multiple days in a row! I’ll take a reusable mug and bring in some powdered instant coffee (I think the Trader Joe’s brand is way tastier than Nescafe, though of course straight from the bean is best!) Cafe’s around campus will fill up your mug with hot water, then you can add in your own instant coffee, and add milk and sugar as you like it!

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? I love dancing, so almost every week while school is in you can find me doing West Coast Swing at the Women’s Building Wednesday nights.  The monthly event Rainbow in the Clouds (21 over, sorry 😉 ) is also one of my favorite things in Corvallis.

Where is your favorite spot to relax on campus? I love setting up a hammock between two shady trees when the weather is nice. In the winter the MU common space is always a favorite. It has a really cozy atmosphere, especially when they have the fires going!

Which building on campus would you haunt and why if you were a ghost? I’d like to haunt LINC. People expect the older buildings on campus to be haunted, like Waldo, or the Women’s Building, but no one would see it coming from a new one! That building already has occasional tech problems; I’d be happy to contribute to those as a ghost!

How do I know if I have Work-Study?

What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study provides funding for part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

Who is eligible for Federal Work-Study?

To be eligible for Federal Work-Study, you need to have completed the FAFSA application by the priority deadline.  Students must be enrolled at least part-time to receive Federal Work-Study funds. The OSU Financial Aid Office determines the eligibility of all students who apply for Federal Work-Study funding.

How do I know if I have been offered Work-Study?

To check if you were offered Federal Work-Study funds as part of your financial aid award, log into myOSU, go to the “Paying for College” tab and follow the link on the right side to view your Financial Aid Award. You should see Federal College Work Study listed with an amount if it has been offered to you. You may then choose to accept this amount. You can watch this video for more details about how to accept your Federal Work-Study funding.

Finding a job

Once you have accepted your Federal Work-Study, you need to find and apply for a job in order to receive these funds. There are both on and off campus employers that may hire you as a Work-Study student.

All student jobs at OSU can potentially be Work-Study jobs (certain restrictions may apply). To search for positions with the OSU Office of Human Resources go to https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/.  Select the STUDENT bar, then search the postings which are available under the Position Type: Student. Some jobs may be listed as “Work-Study only,” and others may not. You will need to let your prospective employer know that you have a Work-Study award so that you can be hired as a Work-Study student.

If you would like to consider off-campus employers, these jobs are posted through the Career Development Center using Handshake. Search for off-campus work-study eligible jobs here. Click the “Jobs” tab at the top and use the filter to check-off work-study jobs.

You may work up to but not more than 20 hours a week combined for all student employment, including Federal Work-Study jobs.

Work-Study and SNAP

Did you know students with a Work-Study job may be eligible to receive SNAP  benefits (food stamps) to alleviate some of the financial burdens related to purchasing healthy, nutritious, foods? You can apply for SNAP online here, or contact the HSRC for any questions about how to apply.

Get To Know Our Staff: Salena

Website, Social Media, and Marketing Organizer

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major/minor: B.A. Sociology w/ Crime & Justice option

Career Aspirations: My ultimate goal is to be an attorney for youth and/or pave the way for major reform within the Justice System, but I think I would be happy in any position where I am able to help and be a viable resource for those seeking assistance.  

Why did you want to work at the HSRC? I wanted to work at the HSRC because of the amazing work that is being done here to help ease the stress of financial barriers that keep students and community members from reaching their full potential. Because I have been on the receiving end of similar services, it is truly rewarding to be able to provide the same assistance and resources to others.

What will you be working on? Over the summer, I have been working on maintaining the Textbook Lending Program. During the academic year, my role is keeping our all of our social media platforms and website up to date with current information, creating fliers and posters for events,  and posting regularly to keep everyone informed about the happenings and events within the HSRC.

What do you like to do in your free time? I am an adventurer at heart. In my free time, I really enjoy taking long drives through the mountains and finding neat places to explore and hike. My absolute favorite place to explore is anywhere along the Oregon coast. When I’m not out and about exploring, I enjoy cuddling up with my pups, Mochi and Buster, and sneaking naps in whenever possible.

What’s your favorite yummy and cheap meal that you like to make? My favorite meal when food and money are low would have to be a hearty pot of soup with whatever I can find in my cupboards! I use whatever meat I have, any kind of canned beans, broth/bullion (or cans of soup), any pasta (usually broken into small pieces), potatoes, and any canned (or fresh!) veggies I have on hand. With a little bit of seasoning, it tastes great regardless of the ingredients! This soup usually makes a huge portion that I’m able to eat daily for a week or freeze and easily eat at another time.

Do you have any tips for students on how to save money? Some of the things I do are: *ALWAYS* comparing prices when shopping. This is a huge one because oftentimes generic items are cheaper, but there are times when the name brands go on sale for even less than the generic. Always get the free membership cards at stores you shop at to save more money. For example, I don’t regularly shop at Safeway, but when I do, I use my club card so that I can earn points for $ off at the Safeway gas station. Students can also save a ton of money by utilizing the Textbook Lending Program, where they can check out their textbooks for FREE for the entire term.

What are you favorite things to do in Corvallis? Corvallis is the perfect place to get outside and connect with nature. I really enjoy exploring McDonald-Dunn forest and all of the great natural areas and parks in the area. There are so many hidden gems and great places to wander.

If you had one wish or chance to use a magic wand, what would you do? If I had a chance to use a magic wand, I definitely would turn myself magical! I’d love to use magic to explore the universe and to help humankind love one another.

What is your favorite movie/band/artist/book/TV show (choose one) and why? My favorite TV show would have to be Game of Thrones or That 70’s Show… They’re completely different ends of the spectrum but they’re great in their own ways. GOT is really nice when I feel like I want to watch something really intense and sort of confusing to keep myself on the edge of my seat, but T70S is just hilarious and I always have a good time watching it.

 

Get To Know Our Staff: Angel

Angel; Graduate Research Assistant

Pronouns: He/Him/His or My name

Major: College Student Services Administration

Career Aspirations

I want to work at a college/university once I graduate with my Master’s. Cultural Centers, Equity & Inclusion Offices and even departments like the HSRC all brought me to this career path, working with students is something I really like doing and being able to do so at in Higher Ed really called to me.

Why did you want to work at the HSRC?

I wanted to work at the HSRC since the first time I heard about the cool resources it has, and knowing that I use them myself, I also wanted to understand the resources I was using better.

What will you be working on?

I will be working with the data that is gathered through the Food Assistance Application to provide information to different departments and campus partners about the work that we are doing here at the HSRC to serve students. In doing this, I hope to show stakeholders about the work that we do here and how much of it impacts students like me who use the services the HSRC provides.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Believe it or not, Pokémon hunting is making its comeback and so that’s what I have found myself doing a lot in my spare time. In addition to that, I really enjoy going to movies and doing some more reading!

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

Angel hair pasta with chicken breast is something that always has a special place in my heart. It goes back to my mom making it for me on cold days or whenever I was sick, so it has a strong connection to home for me.

What are your favorite things to do in Corvallis?

Spending time eating with friends is something I love to do, especially at good restaurants. You never know how intimate a conversation can get with food, it brings out the best in us.

If you had one wish or chance to use a magic wand, what would you do?

Rid the world of its imaginary borders 🙂

Differences between ‘use by’ ‘best by’ and ‘sell by’ dates

Have you ever found something in the back of your pantry and seen that the best by date was just one week ago and you’re not exactly sure if you should still eat it? Well here are definitions by the USDA as to what those confusing ‘use by,’ ‘sell by,’ and ‘best buy’ dates mean and hopefully this will help you the next time you find yourself confused as to whether you should toss something out or still safely consume it.

  • Best if used by/before: not a purchase or safety date. Indicates when the product will be at best quality and taste. You can still safely eat the product once this date passes.
  • Sell by: Not a safety date. This just tells the store how long to display the product for inventory management.
  • Use by: Not a safety date. (unless its baby formula then it is a safety date) This states the last day that the product will be at best quality and taste.

It is up to you, the consumer, if you want to eat the product once it is past the best by or use by date, but  just know that it could still taste perfectly normal once the date passes. And it is safe to eat also since these are not safety dates (unless you see mold, or it has a bad odor).

If you want to read further information about the process and requirements of food dates, take a look at the USDA website that is linked right below!

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/food-labeling/food-product-dating/food-product-dating