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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

Strategic Plan

Executive Summary

The purpose of this strategic plan is to guide the Huskie Food Pantry staff and advisory council as they strive to support the vision and mission of the Huskie Food Pantry. Each year, the Huskie Food Pantry staff will present progress made toward the goals and objectives in the form of an annual report.


Utilize campus, community, and corporate partnerships to establish relationships, which will allow the pantry to be more financially and environmentally sustainable.

  • Reach out to Northern Illinois Food Bank and establish a relationship.
  • Establish corporate relationships through Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Direct Connect program and proactive relationship-building.
  • Reach out to Food Recovery Network and establish a relationship.
  • Partner with Campus Dining Services to establish consistent methods by which food can be rescued and utilized in the food pantry.
  • Work with Communiversity Gardens to review and maximize partnerships.
  • Identify appropriate NIU and community organizations to assist in determining the best methods by which to garner funding for the food pantry.
  • Build relationships with student organizations to establish a reliable volunteer support base.
  • Identify grant opportunities to support capacity building and other initiatives.

Ensure that the population of food-insecure students’ needs is being met through the provision of physical and emotional educational resources, which will assist in alleviating their food insecurity.

  • Create and conduct a survey to identify the estimated size of food insecure population at NIU, coping strategies they utilize and the best way to reach these students annually.
  • Research additional physical, emotional and resource-related coping strategies available to those who experience food insecurity and develop an education plan which includes other university resources.
  • Review and analyze survey results to modify the pantry to meet the needs of current students.
  • Review the strategic plan and modify it to align with the findings of the survey.
  • Implement advisory council recommendations based on findings of the survey.

Utilize the Huskie Food Pantry to provide students with service and experiential learning opportunities geared toward student career success.

  • Host internship positions to sustain the basic operations of the Huskie Food Pantry.
  • Work with Nutrition and Dietetics program to facilitate recurring learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Collaborate with Campus Dining Services nutrition student interns to order and highlight healthy foods in the pantry.
  • Create and implement co-curricular service-learning for volunteers to integrate into pantry nights.
  • Encourage students to complete mutually beneficial research projects.
  • Connect students with resources that will enhance their research experience and opportunities.
  • Encourage students to present research findings via local, regional and national professional organizations and events.
  • Identify additional academic partnerships that will provide mutually beneficial opportunities for the Huskie Food Pantry and students.

Determine the most efficient way in which to provide pantry services to NIU students.

  • Create a streamlined system to manage food/item donation drives.
  • Review and update volunteer orientation and pantry processes.
  • Determine the assessment cycle for continuous improvement within the Huskie Food Pantry.
  • Review current capacity and determine facility and equipment needs Create Huskie Food Pantry capacity building plan.