An estimated one in three children in the Central Valley are unsure of where their next meal will come from according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The statistic is moving some Fresno State students to take action.
Sociology students and professors partnered with University Dining Services to establish a chapter of the national Food Recovery Network. This group recovers surplus food from the Fresno State campus and delivers it to partner organizations to be packaged and donated to individuals and families in need.
“Food insecurity is extremely prevalent in Fresno, especially on the Fresno State campus,” said sociology lecturer Dr. Janine Nkosi. “In a survey that was conducted in spring of 2013, it was found that 31 percent of Fresno State students were experiencing food insecurity. So roughly one in three Fresno State students struggle with meeting their nutritional needs. Fresno State students are twice as likely to experience food insecurity than the average American.”
To address this problem, the Fresno State Food Recovery Network will host its first major food recovery drive at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 at University Dining Hall at Fresno State.
Food recovered that day will be delivered to the Bulldog Pantry and Education and Leadership Foundation for distribution to Fresno State students and community members experiencing food insecurity.
Harry Ratnam, president of the Fresno State Chapter of the national Food Recovery Network, said he wants to spread awareness about food disparity on campus and ways for students to do something about it.
“We want people to understand the problem by increasing awareness here on campus,” Ratnam said. “We want students to know that there is a way to help the hungry. We want people to get more involved and to help spread awareness to other campuses.”
For more information, contact Evelyn Gonzalez at 559.698.4635 or 559.466.0096, or Dr. Janine Nkosi at firstname.lastname@example.org.