Minnesota Office of Higher Education

Hunger Free Campus

Helping colleges and universities achieve and sustain a Hunger Free Campus designation.


Hunger Free Campus Grants

The Minnesota Legislature established the Hunger Free Campus Grant Program in May 2021 as a part of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Omnibus Bill (2021 Minn. Stat. 135A.137).  The legislature provided $205,000 for grants to institutions who are working toward designation and $102,000 for grants to sustain their designation. Currently, all Minnesota public 2- and 4-year institutions and tribal colleges are eligible to apply for grant funding.

There is a 50% match requirement, in-kind or monetary, to receive funding for this grant.

Request for Proposals - Now Live

As of April 8, 2022, the Hunger Free Campus “Pathway to Designation” grant competition is live. This provides grants of up to $8,000 to institutions that have not yet received a Hunger Free Campus designation but are looking to apply for one within the next year. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is now accepting proposals for fiscal year 2022 and encourages all eligible applicants to apply. The timeline leading up to proposal submission is as follows:

April 8, 2022 - RFP released

April 22, 2022 - Deadline for Intent to Submit form submission

May 13, 2022, 4:30pm - Deadline for proposal submission

For more information and forms needed to apply, see the Hunger Free Campus Request for Proposals.

Grants for institutions that currently have a Hunger Free Campus designation will be available Winter 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions


Proposal Review

Proposals are reviewed and scored by a panel of community reviewers who have professional or lived experience with: basic needs insecurity, youth homelessness, financial aid, low-income student support, and human/social services, among many other content areas. If you are interested in being a community reviewer, please contact Lain.DeSalvo@state.mn.us. Community members that are a part of groups traditionally underrepresented in college are encouraged to sit on a review panel and may qualify for a small stipend for participation.


If you have questions or would like additional information on the Hunger Free Campus Grant Program, contact Lain DeSalvo by email at Lain.DeSalvo@state.mn.us or (651) 259-3988.

Institutional Designation

A Hunger Free Campus is a public, private, or tribal college that is actively taking strides to reduce food insecurity and improve basic needs resources on their campus. To receive a Hunger Free Campus designation, institutions must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have an established on-campus food pantry or partnership with a local food bank to provide regular, on-campus food distributions;
  2. Provide information to students on SNAP, MFIP, and other programs that reduce food insecurity. The institution shall notify students in work-study employment of their potential eligibility for SNAP benefits and provide information to those students that includes eligibility criteria and how to apply for benefits;
  3. Hold or participate in one hunger awareness event per academic year;
  4. Have an established emergency assistance grant that is available to students; and
  5. Establish a hunger task force that meets a minimum of three times per academic year.

Hunger Free Campus designations are given out by the institutions’ student organization in partnership with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. In order to apply for a designation, select your institution type below and follow the application prompt.


For Students:

If you are a student seeking resources to address food, housing, or other basic needs insecurities, see our Student Homelessness in Higher Education webpage.