Santa Clara University

Food & Agribusiness Institute

Research & Initiatives

Faces of Hunger Project


The Faces of Hunger Project is a collaborative photojournalism project between the Food and Agribusiness Institute of Santa Clara University and Second Harvest Food Bank.  Through the portraits and stories collected at 15 of the more than 830 distribution sites, the project provides a glimpse of the complex and multi-faceted food environment in which the clients, volunteers, and staff navigate.  The purpose of the project is to highlight Second Harvest's impact on the individuals served and the overall impact on our communities.

Over 1700 photographs were taken during the summer of 2010.  Select images from the project will be on display during the annual Hunger Issues Forum on September 10, 2010.  In November, a book including images and stories from the project will be available through the Second Harvest Food Bank.

  • hunger webHunger Index Research

    The Food and Agribusiness Institute funds Dr. S. Andrew Starbird’s Hunger Index research, completed in collaboration with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. 

    The Hunger Index was developed to measure hunger for the most food insecure households within specific counties.  The Hunger Index also calculates the number of meals that are provided by various food assistance organizations and programs: SFHB, Children and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Meals on Wheels, School Meals Program, Senior Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamps program), and Woman Infant and Children (WIC).  Food assistance provided in both counties has increased in 2009.  The county food assistance programs provided 109.4 million meals in 2009 in Santa Clara County and 29.2 million meals in San Mateo County. 

    Download the 2009 Hunger Index presentation [.pdf]

    The Food and Agribusiness Institute hopes to expand the Hunger Index research to include all Bay Area counties in the coming years.

  • garden webSCU Community Garden

    The creation of a new education and community garden on campus begins this year under the leadership of the Environmental Studies Institute and with the support of the Food and Agribusiness Institute as well as the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ignatian Center. The garden will soon bloom on the vacant lot at the corner of Benton and Sherman streets, just one block from Lucas Hall.

    The Bronco Urban Garden (BUG) program, a new environmental justice outreach initiative, will utilize the garden to serve the greater community. BUG will work with several community-based organizations and schools to help build and nurture community and school gardens in San Jose, improving community food security and environmental literacy.

    BUG Americorps members will help build new gardens (including SCU’s garden) and will provide teacher training, garden assistance, gardening resources and educational program support for our community partners. The neighborhoods that will be served this year include Gardner, Washington, Alma, and Alviso.

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