Recast| Student Basic Needs Survey Results & Resources

From: “Saliba, Therese” <>
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 10:40 AM

Dear Evergreen Community, 

Student access to basic needs support and resources can determine a successful experience at Evergreen.  It takes food, health, shelter and community to stay in school and thrive to graduation and beyond. This week, as we engage in the Equity Symposium, we encourage you to read on to understand how we are working together to build a more equitable and caring community by addressing our students’ basic needs.

Last fall, Evergreen participated in the #Real College survey from Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community & Justice. The results of this survey are now available to our community.

The survey was completed by 306 students across our campuses with a response rate of 13.9%. Given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and renewed calls for racial justice,  this rate was higher than the national average. Students shared their experiences with anxiety, mental health, job loss and employment, academic challenges, and more. Evergreen students’ experiences with food, housing, and job insecurity were significantly higher than the national average (NA in parentheses).      

Evergreen students told us that 67% experienced at least one form of basic needs insecurity, including (NA 58%):

·        36% who experienced food insecurity in the prior 30 days (NA 29%),

·        58% who experienced housing insecurity in the previous year (NA 43%), and

·        23% who experienced homelessness in the previous year (NA 14%).

Significantly, 46% of our students experiencing basic needs insecurity did not apply for campus supports because they did not know how, and 73% believe others need resources more than they do.  This means that our students might not be accessing important resources that are available through our campus and community.  

Since the COVID19 pandemic, Evergreen bolstered existing resources for food and emergency financial aid, but those are not enough. To continue our action-oriented movement forward, The Hope Center data will be important to leverage future financial resources to improve basic needs access. We plan to use data to continue breaking down the stigma of accessing social services and community/campus resources and to discern other resource gaps in areas such as houselessness and transportation access. 

As a Greener, there are many ways for you to be involved in this work.

1.      Know that resources provided by the college are open to everyone! Do not wait for an emergency to access these resources if they would help you. An essential part of basic needs advocacy is breaking down the stigma of accessing resources and services.

2.       Read the survey data, become familiar with the many ways our community is in need, and be an informed community member.

3.      Look for future opportunities to plug in to advocacy work through committees, task forces, shared governance, service opportunities, and more! 

4.      Spread the word about resources available. Below are a few current efforts and resources happening that are making a difference in students’ abilities to meet their basic needs, preserve their health and wellness, and succeed in their studies.

In community and care,

Basic Needs Steering Committee

Ellen Shortt-Sanchez (she/her), Joni Upman (they/them/theirs), Jeannette Smith (she/her/hers), Amadou Bâ, and Therese Saliba (she/her)

Current Resources and Efforts to Address Basic Needs at Evergreen

Basic Needs Advisory Group

With a new charge and membership across divisions, the Basic Needs Advisory Group meets once a quarter to discuss student needs, resources, partnerships, and more. For questions, please contact the group’s current facilitator, AmeriCorp Vista Joni Upman (

Basic Needs Center, 1st Floor of the CAB

In partnership with the CCBLA, Student Activities, First Peoples, RAD, and the Library, students now have access to a space every Monday and Friday from 3pm-6pm to procure basic items. Students may schedule a 15-minute appointment to pick up items such as PPE, library books, clothes, and hygiene items. Many thanks to our grants office for their work in obtaining a grant through MultiCare, the GSU for their endorsement of capital funds use, and our partners in facilities for making the renovation of the space happen. We are very appreciative of First Peoples and RAD for their monetary contributions and staff support. 

Emergency Fund (Gift Aid)

Emergency Fund gift aid is available to students with unexpected financial needs that would cause the student to not complete the term or continue their education. This generally cannot be used to pay a charge owed to Evergreen and is limited to $500 per academic year. Please complete the Emergency Fund Application (PDF) and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

Evergreen Pop-Up Food Bank with the Thurston County Food Bank

Satellite emergency food distribution continues in C lot on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 2-4pm. We invite students and community members to pick up food, for either yourself or another household, with vegan options available. We collect the following information for Thurston County Food Bank’s data reporting: First/Last Name, Month & Year of Birth, ZIP Code, Number of People in Household, Student/Veteran Status. There are no other eligibility requirements, and you do not need to provide a form of identification.  

Evergreen Organic Farm

The Evergreen Organic Farm is working on accepting basic food and EBT payments for local, fresh produce on campus! Enrolled students received discounts thanks to support from the Services & Fee Allocation Board (S&A).

Hungry Greener Program

If you are an Evergreen student concerned about where you will get your next meal, this program will provide limited funds to eligible students that can be used confidentially in The Greenery using your current student ID card. Because the block meals will appear on your ID card, others will not know that your blocks have been donated. This program is a collaborative effort with the Food Systems Working Group, ARAMARK, and Residential and Dining Services (RAD). Complete a simple application for more information. 

Washington Student Achievement Council

Ongoing collaboration with the Washington Student Achievement Council has been instrumental in connecting Evergreen staff with statewide efforts to promote student basic needs. The VISTA service member is part of a statewide taskforce to create a vision for basic needs advocacy in higher education.

WashPIRG, a registered student organization

Evergreen’s WashPIRG chapter has been supporting these efforts to expand basic needs access through their Hunger & Houselessness campaign. WashPIRG has been an essential partner in providing volunteers, raising awareness about basic needs, and hosting a clothing drive.

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