Fresno Fair’s ‘Feed the Need’ Food Drive helps students

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Fresno Fair’s ‘Feed the Need’ Food Drive helps students

UPDATE (6 p.m.): A pair of tickets to this Saturday’s Bulldogs football game against Tulsa will be given to the first 50 people donating 12 cans of food each to The Big Fresno Fair’s Feed the Need Food Drive 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 21) at the Bulldog Stadium Red Lot at Fresno State.  See:


UPDATE (1 p.m.): Bulldogs football coach Tim DeRuyter will lead a contingent of coaches who will greet donors to The Big Fresno Fair’s Feed the Need Food Drive from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the Bulldog Stadium Red Lot (Cedar and Barstow). The food drive runs 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. SEE:

Fresno State’s Food Security Project will be among the beneficiaries of The Big Fresno Fair’s Feed the Need Drive 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. The two drive-through collection locations include Bulldog Stadium Red Lot (Cedar and Barstow) featuring Bulldogs football coach Tim DeRuyter.

The other location is the CBS 47 studios (5035 E. McKinley Ave) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A free admission ticket to the Fair will be given to those who donate 12 or more cans of food (one ticket per person, limit two per car) at the campus location where the coach will be joined by his wife Kara and Fresno State First Lady Mary Castro, wife of University President Joseph I. Castro. Victor E. Bulldog III also will be on hand for photo opportunities.

Other Bulldogs coaches participating Wednesday are Mike Batesole, baseball; Jessica Giglio, lacrosse; Brian Zwaschka, soccer; Ryan Stotland, tennis; and Troy Steiner, wrestling.

The 2016 Big Fresno Fair, which is the fifth largest fair in the state of California and represents the 21st District Agricultural Association, runs Oct. 5 to 16. The free ticket can be used at the fair Monday through Friday.

For Wednesday’s “Feed the Need” food drive, The Big Fresno Fair, Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army have teamed up with Fresno State and CBS47, which will broadcast the two locations live beginning at 7 a.m. (Canned foods will only be accepted at the Fresno State Red Lot until 2 p.m. and at CBS47 Studios until 7 p.m. Wednesday.)

The food collected during this one-day drive will be added to a food drive held during the Fair from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct.13 at the Fairgrounds.

The initiative has collected more than 580 tons of food over the past seven years to benefit the organizations supported by “Feed the Need” food drive partners: Community Food Bank, Salvation Army and Fresno State’s Student Cupboard. Combined, those organizations will provide the food to over 500,000 people in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Kern counties.

Each Fair partner helps to operate the “Feed the Need” food drive effort, with the support of community partners Save Mart Supermarkets, FoodMaxx, Wells Fargo and local media outlets.
In 2015, the total amount of food collected during the entire “Feed the Need” food drive effort was 271,688 lbs.

“Hunger is something Central Valley communities know all too well. Our goal with the annual ‘Feed the Need’ Food Drive is to help families and students who experience food insecurity focus on things other than where their next meal will come from,” said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. “We are extremely grateful to have such valuable partners who join us in this effort to feed our communities.”

Mrs. Castro, who has spearheaded fundraising drives for the Student Cupboard, said “We encourage everyone to come out to donate and join us in fighting hunger not just for our students, but many throughout Central California.

“We at Fresno State are very appreciative that The Big Fresno Fair and CBS47 have included our Food Security Project in this effort,” she added. “My husband and I experienced food insecurity when we were younger. It is fitting that the Fair, which promotes our agricultural industry, would partner with us and others to help feed the hungry in our region.”

The Food Security Project, which opened in 2014 and is a member the College and University Food Bank Alliance, has several initiatives to help meet the needs of students experiencing food insecurity:

  • The Student Cupboard – provides free food and hygiene pantry for current Fresno State students;
  • Catered Cupboard – food is available to students at the conclusion of campus catered events through a push notification on their phone via the Fresno State Mobile app;
  • University Dining Hall Complimentary Meals – gift certificates that can be given to undergraduate and graduate students who are food insecure and in immediate need;
  • Good Samaritan Fund – assists Fresno State students encountering an unforeseen financial emergency or catastrophic event which would otherwise prevent them from continuing their education at Fresno State;
  • Education and Resources – workshops are provided on money management, budget friendly meals and other ways to educate students in need. The program also assists students with understanding the eligibility requirements and registration process for CalFresh, WIC and other resources.

The California State University system also battles the issue on a statewide level through the CalState Basic Needs project. The CSU is the first U.S. public university system to conduct extensive research on student homelessness, displacement and food insecurity as part of a broader aim to develop systematic solutions that enable more students to succeed and graduate.

For more information regarding the Food Security Project and the Student Cupboard, contact Jessica Medina at 559.278.0866 or or visit
For more information about The Big Fresno Fair, visit

Fair media contact: Lauren Meckstroth (Office: 559.650.3229, Cell: 702-499-7388)

Fresno State media contact: Tom Uribes (559.246.1717 or

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