Food insecurity is a real issue that impacts approximately 40% of community college students in Minnesota. We are partnering with the national #RealCollege campaign to bring in policy experts to help us understand ways that we can address food insecurity on college campuses and develop action plans that are created from the ground up.

Students will:

  • Develop a campus-based action plan focusing on food insecurity
  • Learn about food insecurity and how higher education institutions can lessen the burden
  • Participate in a "Shark Tank" component to compete for a grand prize

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice in Philadelphia. She is also the Chief Strategy Officer for Emergency Aid at Edquity, a student financial success and emergency aid company, and founded Believe in Students, a nonprofit distributing emergency aid.

Sara is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the four largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award, the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and the Carnegie Fellowship. In 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics and she is ranked 6th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award, and was featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls Sara “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” an accurate description of her life’s work.

Sara’s hope:  We will fight for a financing system that recognizes the right of every American to a high-quality college education.

Workshops will focus on how to address food insecurity on campus. There are four focus areas to choose. In each focus area workshop, participants and facilitator will work collaboratively to share innovative approaches and develop an action plan for their campus.

Workshop One: Developing a Program Evaluation Plan
Workshop Two: Speaking Up & Leading Change
Workshop Three: Innovative Approaches to Emergency Aid
Workshop Four: Innovative, Student-Led Approaches to Campus Hunger
Workshop Five: Real Practices to Implement Food Pantries and Mobile Food Solutions

The workshop facilitators are four national experts on food insecurity issues:

Hannah MillerHannah Miller is the state director for Rise Michigan. Rise is a student-led advocacy organization that fights for free college tuition while also working to make sure college students have access to food and housing. Prior to joining Rise, Hannah worked to increase food access throughout the greater Detroit area. Hannah graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 and now lives in Detroit, Michigan.


Rachel SumekhRachel Sumekh is the Founder & CEO of Swipe Out Hunger. The organization is the leading nonprofit in addressing hunger amongst college students. Her work has been recognized by The Obama White House and landed her on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list.



MeredithMeredith Song is currently a third-year at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities studying Genetics and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. She has been leading the Swipe Out Hunger Chapter at UMN since 2018 and is involved in several student-led initiatives to address college food insecurity. 



Shar-day CampellShar-day Campbell is an award-winning communicator and certified social media expert whose gift for storytelling led her to a career in communications, television and public affairs. Recently, she joined Houston Community College (HCC) as the financial aid department’s first communications and social media coordinator.



David Helene

David Helene is the Chief Executive Officer of Edquity. After beginning his career in financial services, he started a non-profit provider of college financial capability education for low-income students, which ultimately inspired him to found Edquity.



AlainaAlaina DeSalvo (Lain) is the Competitive Grants Manager for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a cabinet-level state agency. They- in partnership with community stakeholders- develop, facilitate, and manage all competitive grant programs for the agency, including the Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students (EAPS) Grant Program. In addition to managing grants, they participate in access, retention, and equity initiatives and sit on the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness on behalf of the agency. Alaina obtained their bachelor of arts degree from Montclair State University in New Jersey, and their master of arts degree in Higher Education from the University of Minnesota.


ClaireClaire Dunlap is Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Youthprise, an intermediary in Minneapolis dedicated to reducing racial disparities with and for Minnesota youth by mobilizing and investing resources, advancing knowledge, and advocating for change. Claire leads and implements strategies to advance overall effectiveness at Youthprise, including setting the evaluation agenda, reporting Youthprise's impact externally, and improving internal organizational functioning by advancing solutions around structure, power, and culture. 


For questions about this event, contact LeadMN Associate Director Andy Howe at