Basic Needs Task Force
Kyle Sorbe (he/him/his)
Office Hours: Wednesdays 3p-5p
The Basic needs Task Force (BNTF) is dedicated to serving students by supporting efforts to decrease food insecurity and housing insecurity on campus through a variety of methods, including: advocacy, coalition building, and policymaking.
BNTF's advocacy includes working University of Minnesota administration, Boynton Health, MDining, and any other institutional structure that may impact students' basic needs. In addition, the Basic Needs Task Force is focused on advocacy for students to university administration, local, state, and federal government.
With a specific focus on equity, BNTF encourages and welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, and encourages diverse representation and participation.
Projects through BNTF will vary; however, each year there is a changing landscape around the University of Minnesota regrading food and housing insecurity. Housing initiatives include prior campaigns such as Break Up With Your Landlord, coordinating with Student Legal Services to educate prospective renters, monitoring the development of new luxury apartment complexes, as well as monitoring real estate purchases made by the university that may encroach on student housing. In the future, coordination between the neighborhood associations (Como, Marcy-Holmes, Stadium Village, etc.) could be a valuable tool to ensure representation in all areas of housing surrounding campus.
Food insecurity is a complex issue; the state of the economy often has a severe impact on student's wallets. Currently, student organizations and campus resources such as Nutritious U Food Pantry, SwipeOut Hunger, and BrightSide provide emergency access to nutritious food for students. The goal of the Basic Needs Task Force is to decrease the need and reliance on these emergency services by equipping students with the necessary resources to be able to afford these things individually. Current projects include developing a meals delivery services, and educating students on the currently available resources, including SNAP through the federal government.
Each of these issue areas may change over time, for more information, contact the Chairperson to inquire about ongoing and future projects.