Fresh Express – free student market opens on campus thanks to parent and student donors
For students, by students
“Dedicated to nourishing bodies, empowering minds, and creating a community of compassion.”
This is the mission of Fresh Express, a student-led market created to address food insecurity on UGA’s campus by providing produce and non-perishables to students.
The market, located in Joe Frank Harris Dining Commons on East Campus, is open on Thursdays and Fridays. In partnership with UGArden, Fresh Express provides produce to students who may be struggling to afford healthy meals during the semester. After serving students at tabling events during the Spring semester of 2022, the Student Government Association, with financial support from the 2021 Student Alumni Council Class Gift and Parents Leadership Council, celebrated its grand opening on August 31. Students interested in utilizing Fresh Express are encouraged to visit the Fresh Express website to register for a pick-up time.
Financial support for Fresh Express
The Class Gift is coordinated by the Student Alumni Council and funded by Senior Signature, an annual giving campaign for UGA seniors to give back to campus by contributing to areas that were significant to their experience at the university. $10 of each contribution goes towards the Class Gift, which benefits one on-campus organization voted upon by Senior Signature donors. UGA student organizations are eligible to apply for the Class Gift each Spring to receive funds for the following academic year.
With the collective support of Senior Signature donors from the Class of 2021, Fresh Express is able to meet student needs across campus — but Senior Signature’s impact does not stop there. The Class of 2022 selected the UGA Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association as the recipient of their Class Gift. During the 2022-2023 academic year, this organization will receive up to $6,000 to support graduate students pursuing careers in speech-language pathology.
Parents Leadership Council
Fresh Express is also supported by funding from the Parents Leadership Council, a group of UGA parents who give back to undergraduate student organizations. After applying for a grant from the PLC, the Student Government Association was awarded $12,750 to assist with the establishment and day-to-day operations of Fresh Express and the SGA Professional Clothing Closet. The PLC grants are awarded annually to fund scholarships, support critical undergraduate student needs, and assist registered student organizations for projects and programs that enhance the quality of life for students. Over the past 10 years, the Parents Leadership Council has awarded $4.6 million in grant support to a variety of initiatives across campus – from student life and financial assistance to well-being and service learning. Grant applications for 2023 open this October.
Because of Fresh Express and the generosity of UGA students and parents, students facing food insecurity can focus on learning and getting involved on campus. If you are interested in making a difference through Senior Signature or Parents Leadership Council, visit the pages below to learn more.