March Match Up raises record setting $184,475 to battle student hunger

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March Match Up raises record setting $184,475 to battle student hunger

Fresno State’s March Match Up campaign was a slam dunk, raising a record shattering $184,475 for the Student Cupboard, a food and hygiene pantry for Fresno State students. The campaign, which lasted throughout March, was bolstered by three community partners who offered matching funds to help battle student hunger.

“The impact when community and university work together as one is tremendous. Each donor to the campaign made an immense difference in supporting student success, and the power of their generosity was doubled thanks to our bold lead sponsors, who inspired hundreds to give back in such a meaningful way,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro.

The campaign aimed to engage the community and inspire others to give. In total, 273 donors contributed gifts ranging in size from $10 to $10,000 to surpass the goal.

The project kicked off with support from Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs and accounting firm Moss Adams LLP, who pledged to match, dollar-for-dollar, every monetary gift up to $50,000. Michael Treviño, whose Bay Area family was inspired by his Aunt Ermelinda Treviño to establish an endowment to help Fresno State students facing food insecurity, soon followed suit, pledging $32,000 in matching funds. The Treviño pledge brought the total match to $82,000.

Donors to the campaign were asked to show their support two ways: by making a donation and by posting video challenge on social media using the hashtag #FSMarchMatchup. These videos, which include tossing a basketball or showing Bulldog spirit in some fashion, went viral with many local leaders taking part in the challenge.

The fundraising drive began last year by playing off the March Madness college basketball theme when Fresno State alumni Chris Morse and Ken Wittwer wanted to give back to the University and support students by inspiring others to give. In its first year the campaign raised $106,000.

The Student Cupboard opened in 2014 and provides all Fresno State students who are challenged by food security with free perishable and non-perishable food items and hygiene products. It is one of the initiatives under the Food Security Project that aims to increase student access to affordable, nutritious food. More than 3,300 students visit the Student Cupboard each month, and over 7,700 students have utilized the Student Cupboard since opening.

“Fresno State students see themselves as having an important role as the next generation of leaders in our community,” said Mary Castro, Fresno State’s first lady who volunteered to spearhead the campaign. “We are grateful for the generosity of so many community members who made March Match Up a huge success for our students. Together, we are removing hunger as a barrier to student achievement.”

For more information about the campaign, contact David Hembree at 559.278.5052 or dhembree@csufresno.edu. For more information about the Student Cupboard, which is located in the Grosse Industrial Technology Building, Room 144 (Barstow Avenue and Jackson Drive), contact Jessica Medina at 559.278.6621.