By Joe Witzke, graduate student, University Student Apartments

Families and students at the University Student Apartments spent the Thanksgiving season serving others. Residents collected enough food and hygiene items to fill a pickup truck to stock University of Utah’s Feed U Pantry.

Most college students can relate to the pressure of end of the semester deadlines. However, not all have to balance school work with the stress of being able to put food on the table. In an effort to support students, faculty, and staff struggling with food insecurity, University Student Apartments and Feed U teamed up for the annual November Food Drive.

“Many of the students here have very little means themselves. It has been obvious that there truly is a spirit of service and compassion that runs through our community,” said University Student Apartments Program Director Rachel Van Tassel.  “We are overwhelmed by the number of residents at University Student Apartments who are willing to provide food for the hungry. We are happy to give and in turn, are so thankful for what Feed U offers to students who are hungry.”

Student families eager to help, braved chilly morning temperatures in order donate non-perishable food items and hygiene products while also enjoying some delicious hot chocolate and donuts. Marking the end of a successful event, the University Student Apartments community watched as a pickup truck filled with donated supplies made its way to the Feed U Pantry.

“The November Food Drive is truly an example of students helping students. Despite many being on tight budgets themselves, University Student Apartments student families found a way to contribute,” Van Tassel continued.

According to the United States Department Agriculture, “An estimated 12.3 percent of American households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2016, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.”

Click here to donate to the Feed U Pantry.


By Rachel Robertson, development specialist, Annual Giving, University of Utah

Pantry Impact Fast Facts:

  • 14,000 pounds of food distributed to students
  • Powered and operated by student volunteers
  • Assisted over 1,400 consistent students
  • Awareness and advocacy on food insecurity on a peer-to-peer level
  • Creating a safe, friendly and reliable system for the campus community

For almost three years, the Feed U Pantry has helped the University of Utah campus and community battle against hunger. Since 2014, the Feed U Pantry has provided more than 14,000 pounds of food to those who suffer from food insecurity at the U.

Food insecurity is a barrier that influences students’ daily lives and their academic journey. The Feed U Pantry is devoted to providing reliable access to food so that all students can focus on their classes, assignments and ultimately graduation day.

“It is hard to admit you need help but coming to the Feed U Food Pantry I feel welcomed and not ashamed,” said Juan, U student. “I am able to pick up items that I need and I know whom to contact if I am looking for something in particular. It is a great system.”

Twenty percent of undergraduate students nation-wide experience similar hard times like Juan and suffer from hunger, according the 2016 National Campus Hunger Report. Based on a 2015 campus survey and the volume of students utilizing the Feed U Pantry that number is likely higher than the national average here at the U.

“We have been working hard to build the Feed U Food Pantry into a space that is welcoming and supporting,” said Allie Menzdorf, director of development and outreach of the Feed U Pantry. “Food insecurity is a large issue, especially on this campus. It is crucial for the pantry to keep growing and expanding in order to meet the needs of our community. This is a resource that is more than a pantry full of food, it is an educational experience.”

The Feed U Pantry is powered by student volunteers, private charitable gifts, and community and campus partners. This program is crucial to the overall student body success at the U by providing vital access to food for those in need.

Members of the U community can make a difference in lives of students suffering from food insecurity by making a gift, donating non-perishable items or volunteering.

Monetary gifts of all sizes make an impact.  To help support the Feed U Pantry with a gift please visit the Feed U giving page. For more information about the Feed U Pantry, donating non-perishable items or volunteering visit their website at

A Healthier U


You may have heard that some diets recommend eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three larger meals. Some diets boast significant health benefits with eating smaller meals throughout the day. The International Society of Sports Nutrition published their position stand on meal frequency in 2011. Here are the findings:
appetizer mini burgers with tomatoes, lettuce and meat balls

  1. Body composition

Increased meal frequency does not play a significant role in decreasing body weight or improving body composition.  Studies of overweight and normal weight individuals found that calories consumed in one meal versus three or five meals did not make a difference in body composition.  At the end of the day, weight loss or weight gain depends entirely on caloric balance.

  1. Blood markers of health

Blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose levels significantly decrease with increased meal consumption.  Additionally, serum insulin levels are decreased, which may decrease body fat deposition.

  1. Metabolism

Even though there is an increase in thermogenesis and fat utilization with the consumption of smaller, more frequent meals, increasing meal frequency does not statistically elevate resting metabolic rate.  However, additional calories are burned in the actual consumption and digestion of additional meals.

  1. Hunger or satiety

Increased meal frequency does decrease feelings of hunger and, consequently, may result in decreased calories consumed in subsequent meals.

  1. Protein metabolism

Protein content of meals is more important in preserving muscle mass than the number of meals consumed in a day.  Research suggests that skeletal muscle mass preservation is optimized at 20-30 grams of high quality protein or 10-15 grams of essential amino acids, per meal.  It is also important to spread protein consumption evenly throughout the day.


La Bounty, et al. (2011) International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 8:4.


Hitting the slopes over the holidays? Make sure you are taking steps to avoid injury while you ski — and once you get home for the day.

Learn more here.

lasikLately, it seems like ads for LASIK are popping up everywhere — DJs are talking about it on the radio and newscasters sing its praises, especially if they didn’t like wearing glasses on camera.  And it’s no wonder. The technology is incredibly precise, the operation is quick, and people are happy with the results. But still, it’s not for everybody, and not every “deal” is really a good value — we are talking your precious, one-of-a-kind eyes, after all. So before you jump in, make sure you look for a board-certified ophthalmologist who explains every consideration.

Click here to read the story.

For more expert health news and information, visit





What started at the U as a canned food drive experiment has grown into a major holiday food drive.

In a span of 21 years, University of Utah alumni and fans have helped thousands of Utah families by donating tens of thousands of dollars and over a million pounds of food to the Utah Food Bank during the annual food drive.

Pictured: Former Utah Food Bank Executive Director Jim Pugh and Alumni Association Community Service Chair Richard Hinckley, 2007.

Now in its 22nd year, the University of Utah Food Drive raises substantial amounts of money and canned food for the Utah Food Bank during an important time of year. Here’s how it developed into a major food drive.In 1994, the alumni associations from Utah and BYU held the first rivalry canned food drive. Supporters were encouraged to bring cans to the Utah vs. BYU game or a Utah Basketball game later that day. Food drops were also available at the Alumni House and various campus locations.No results are available for 1994, but in 1995, Utah raised 12,500 pounds of food.
Money Talks
Fans were soon asked to donate money instead of lugging cans from distant parking lots to the stadium. Plus, the Utah Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into many more dollars of goods and services ($7.35 currently). The BYU vs. Utah competition was then broadened to two areas: food donations and money donations.
Over the years, a common pattern developed. Utah would win the monetary donation competition while BYU, with a large number of students living on or near campus, always won the canned food competition handily. So, it always came down to the football game as a tiebreaker.In 2003, new Utah Head Coach Urban Meyer helped promote the food drive while also shutting out BYU 3-0. It was the first time BYU had been held scoreless since 1975.
U Students Step Up –
Everything Changes!

In 2006, BYU raised over 100,000 pounds of food to the U’s 22,000. BYU’s student newspaper chastised the U, and also both schools for not raising more food and money.In 2007, the U’s Student Alumni Board was tired of losing the food competition to BYU. SAB and The MUSS Board asked the Community Service Committee to give them a greater role. They then started collecting at grocery stores and in neighborhoods. They approached local businesses. By the 2008 drive, Utah had overtaken BYU in food collected.
Rivalry for a Good Cause
Although always a great rivalry, from 2009 to 2011 the Utah/BYU rivalry became even more intense. And needy Utah families benefited. In the three food drives from 2009 to 2011, the U raised a combined total of 1,006,000 pounds of food and over $261,000. The U won the food drive by a sizable amount each year.
Going It Alone
With Utah going to the Pac- 12 and BYU going independent, the annual November rivalry game was no more. In the summer of 2012, BYU notified the U that they would now go forward with a food drive partnership with Utah Valley University.However, The MUSS had fun promoting the “Unrivaled Rivalry” food drive after storming the field 3 three times during the Utah win over BYU in September.
One Thing Hasn’t Changed
The rivalry changed. Hunger never did. Over 15 percent of Utahns are at risk of missing a meal today. And 20 percent of Utah children face the same challenge. The Utah Food Bank needs the continued support of Utah alumni and fans.Last year we raised enough food and money to feed the equivalent of 109 families of four for an entire year. We want to do more this year.You can help by making an online donation here.


Through Saturday, Nov. 28, University of Utah alumni and students will rally the community for the “United Against Hunger” food drive to collect food and donations on behalf of the Utah Food Bank. Monetary donations can be made online at or by mailing a check payable to the Utah Food Bank to: University of Utah Food Drive, University of Utah Alumni Association, 155 S. Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. Nonperishable food donations can be brought to the Alumni House (155 S. Central Campus Drive) or the Utah Food Bank (3150 S. 900 West). Please indicate that the donation is part of the University of Utah food drive.