University addresses food security concerns for students

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University addresses food security concerns for students

(UPDATE Aug. 12, 2015: Student Cupboard moves to IT building)

Thirty percent of Fresno State students who participated in a recent campus survey struggle with food security.  It’s a troubling statistic that Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro is determined to address. “A student cannot reach his or her full potential in the classroom if they are worried about where their next meal will come from. That’s why the issue of food security is so close to my heart,” Castro said.

As part of the Food Security Project on campus, today the university launched the Student Cupboard, a food and hygiene pantry for Fresno State students. Housed in the Post Harvest building (Chestnut and Barstow), this facility is a place table-with-food-and-signwhere students can receive free food and hygiene projects for themselves and members of their family. (NOTE – the project moved to the Grosse Industrial Technology building, room 144, in August 2015).

At today’s press conference marking the launch of the Student Pantry, Castro was joined by Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Frank Lamas. “President Castro tasked us to address food insecurity issues in August with a variety of ways that will help students meet this basic human need and help our students succeed,” Lamas said. “Initiatives such as these create a welcoming campus environment for all and change lives. We hope all students in need will take advantage of this program.”

Most of the food available will come from Fresno Community Food Bank. Fresno State’s Office of Student Affairs will also be conducting food drives, fundraisers and writing grants to support the Food Security Project.

Other initiatives of the Food Security Project include:

  • The Good Samaritan Fund – Financial assistance for students facing unexpected misfortune.
  • Value Menu Items – Low-cost, healthy food options available on campus.
  • Missed Meals Program – When students in residence halls skip meals, the food will be redistributed to food insecure students.
  • Gift Buxx – Gift certificates for students to be used for food on campus.
  • Mobile App – Launching next year, the app will inform students when food is available at the conclusion of campus catered events.
  • Education and Resources – Workshops on budgeting, nutrition and assistance programs.

“The Student Cupboard is an example of how this campus community comes together to care for those who need a helping hand. Initiatives like this speak volumes about who we are as a campus and make me so proud to be a part of the Bulldog family,” Castro said.

The Student Cupboard is open Monday-Friday. Students only need to show a valid Fresno State ID card to access the facility, and they can visit as often as they need.

For more information contact Jessica Medina at 559.278.6621 or jemedina@csufresno.edu.

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