University of South Florida


USF Partners with Feeding Tampa Bay to Open New Center Focused on Food Security

In an effort to address the role of food insecurity on health and well-being, the University of South Florida is set to open its new Center for the Advancement of Food Security and Health Communities (CAFSHC).

Through research, education and community efforts, the center is working with Feeding Tampa Bay among other partners to transform the conversation about food security and develop programs that facilitate social equality and a healthier Florida.

According to David Himmelgreen, PhD, chair and professor in the department of Anthropology and director of CAFSHC, food insecurity research and related activities have taken place across various colleges at USF for years, with no single entity to bring them all together. By providing a meeting space, services and coordinated activities, the new center will help foster the multi-disciplinary collaboration of faculty, students and partners interested in addressing and finding solutions to the crisis.

“The center will be equipped to educate the community, provide trainings, workshops and forums, as well as develop new interdisciplinary courses on food security,” said Himmelgreen.

For students like Karen Diaz-Serrano, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences, CAFSHC’s community partnership coordinator, and a staff member at Feeding Tampa Bay, the center creates opportunities to share ideas, develop solutions and get hands-on experience working in the community.

“As a student, being involved in CAFSHC not only helps us fine tune our skills as researchers but allows us to lead that research,” said Diaz-Serrano. “We all have the same goals, but because we come from different backgrounds and disciplines, we all have different ways of looking at things.”

CAFSHC plans to hold several events throughout the year, bringing the USF and Tampa Bay communities together to discuss issues and find viable solutions to the region’s food insecurity.

Upcoming events:

Black Food Matters:
Contextualization’s of Race, Place and Resistance in Food Movements
February 28, 2020      10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
PMCWY 206 - USF Tampa Campus

Best Practices for Florida Farmers Markets & Local Food Promotions
March 6, 2020            9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Marshall Center - USF Tampa Campus

Racial Wealth Gap Simulation:
With Florence French, Bread for the World
April 17, 2020
Time & Location TBD

To learn more about the Center for the Advancement of Food Securities and Health Communities, its research efforts and how to get involved, visit CAFSHC’s website here.

Return to article listing