2018 Common Challenge

Common reads are designed to introduce incoming students to common topics/ideas - more specifically, ones that matter to them, the campus, and the local community. Partnered with New College's long tradition of community engagement and involvement, we are putting a different spin on this program for 2018.

Common Challenge 2018 for Fall Incoming Students

This year, we are implementing a common challenge. Students would research the challenge topic throughout the summer, using specific online resources that we collect and provide them. During orientation, students will engage with the topic in various ways: through small group discussions, volunteer service hours, and attending a panel discussion with local experts and College members to talk about the issue.

The 2018 Challenge: Food Insecurity — It affects Sarasota, our students, and the nation

  • 50 percent of students in Sarasota County schools are on reduced or free meal vouchers
  • Approximately 20 million Americans live in food deserts, where access to fresh food is limited
  • Florida has the distinction of joining five other states with the highest child food-insecurity rates in the country.
  • New College has just created its own food pantry on our campus, to assist students who are experiencing food insecurity
  • Our 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 VISTA Volunteer Coordinator (sponsored through AmeriCorps) was/is focused on food insecurity as part of their grant-funded position

The Delivery:

  • Incoming students learn about the challenge in May and access the content to begin learning more about the topic
  • Students research the issue through various resources we have collected and posted online (videos, TedTalks, journal articles, book excerpts, blogs, local organizations’ websites)
  • Students participate in small group discussions during orientation activities
  • Food Insecurity Panel will have questions that students can submit ahead of time to have the experts discuss
  • New College Cares (day of volunteering during orientation) will have a food insecurity focus, further reinforcing the topic


Audio, Video, and Web Resources 
A Qualitative Study of Nutrition-Based Initiatives at Selected Food Banks in the Feeding America Network
A Rights-Based Approach to Food Insecurity in the United States
A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant-Based Recipies Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients
Advances in Developing Country Food Insecurity Measurement
Are women moving? Food insecurity, obesity, and women’s food-access strategies in a Broward County, Florida, food desert
Assessing food insecurity on campus
Do Food Prices Affect Food Security for SNAP Households
Do Food Prices Affect Food Security
Doing What Works to End Food Insecurity
Exploring Food Purchase Behavior   
Exploring the Biophysical Option Space for Feeding the World Without Deforestation 
FInding Food Deserts Based on Food Access Index and Transportation Modes: Case Study of Sarasota County, FL 
Food Facts-New and Improved Nutrition Facts Label 
Food Insecurity and Cost-Related Medicine Underuse among Non-elderly Adults in a Nationally Representative Sample
Food Insecurity, Barriers, and Possible solutions
Global Food Insecurity 
Good and Cheap: Eat well on $4 a day  
Household Food Insecurity is Associated with Adult Health Status  
Hunger of the Body and Hunger of the Mind 
Hunger on Campus
Hungry and Homeless in College 
Map the Meal Gap 2018 
Measuring Food Insecurity: The frequency and severity of coping strategies 
Predictors of Food Insecurity in three Central Florida communities 
Private versus Public Relief Use of Food Pantries 
Promoting Food Pantry Environments that Encourage Nutritious Eating Behaviors 
Purchases Made with a Fruit and Vegetable Voucher in Rural Mexican-Heritage Community  
Stretching the Food Stamp Dollar
Study of Financial Hardship
The Food Assistance Landscape
The State of Latino Nutrition in Florida 
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Food 
Vote with Your Fork
Wisconsin HOPE Lab Still Hungry and Homeless