Fresno State’s March Match Up campaign benefitting the university’s Student Cupboard enters its fifth year with a goal to raise $300,000. The campaign has secured $150,000 in matching funds to inspire another $150,000 in gifts from the community for the Student Cupboard this year.
The Student Cupboard provides Fresno State students who are challenged by food insecurity with free fresh and nonperishable food items and hygiene products. It is one of the initiatives under the Food Security Project to increase student access to nutritious food. The Student Cupboard relies on the annual March Match Up campaign, which runs from March 1 through 31, to generate the funds necessary to continue providing this on-campus resource.
During March Match Up, Moss Adams, LLP, Granville Homes, Valley Wide Beverage and an anonymous donor are matching dollar for dollar, all gifts up to $150,000 through March 31. Founding partner Moss Adams has supported March Match Up every year since it began in 2016.
“Empowering students to reach their academic goals by assisting in meeting their nutritional needs is one of the greatest investments our community is able to participate in,” said Mary Castro, Fresno State’s first lady who is spearheading the campaign. “They are our future leaders. The Student Cupboard demonstrates how much we believe in their potential to positively influence our region.”
More than 43% of Fresno State students surveyed said they had experienced some level of food insecurity in the past year, according to a 2017 California State University study. During the last academic year, 6,073 students visited the Cupboard totaling 57,265 visits. The Student Cupboard has an average of 5,500 unique student visits each month (including multiple visits by one person).
About 16,600 unique students have visited the Student Cupboard since it opened in 2014, in more than 225,000 visits.
A continued partnership with Fresno State Horticulture and Plant Science Club in addition to generous donations from the harvests of farming alumni provides fresh fruits and vegetables to students through the Student Cupboard. In the 2018-19 academic year, the Student Cupboard assisted more than 590 students with CalFresh pre-screening and application assistance to help them receive money loaded on a card to purchase healthy groceries.
And students on campus have donated more than 1,500 meals to fellow students through the Swipe Out Hunger campaign.
Even before the campaign tips off on Sunday, March 1, the fun will begin at the men’s basketball game against Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 29, announcing the campaign launch to the community. As part of the half-time show, Ken Wittwer and Chris Morse of Moss Adams will participate in a shoot-out competition with Fresno State students. The game begins at 4 p.m. at the Save Mart Center.
“Food insecurity is a growing issue on college campuses nationwide. Instead of focusing on schoolwork-related matters, many of our students find themselves dealing with the difficulties to afford groceries or even housing,” said Dr. Janell Morillo, associate vice president of Student Health, Counseling and Wellness. “When we can help our students overcome obstacles around basic needs like hunger, we are giving them the tools they need to be successful.”
The public is encouraged to help by donating any amount at FresnoState.edu/MarchMatchUp and then challenging others to help stamp out student hunger. They can also help the campaign gain momentum by sharing on social media with the hashtag #FSMarchMatchUp.
Other community partners will support March Match Up in the following ways:
- Dutch Bros. will donate a portion of its March 11 sales from its six Fresno stores to the March Match Up campaign. On that date, the Dutch Bros. coffee truck will make a stop on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Garden, next to the Kennel Bookstore.
- The California Restaurant Association will encourage donations to benefit the Student Cupboard from its member restaurants in March through a portal on its website.
- Macy’s selected the Fresno State Student Cupboard to be the beneficiary of a two-week Round-Up campaign. Customers were encouraged to “round up” their purchases between Feb. 1 and Feb. 15, donating their change to benefit the Student Cupboard at the Fashion Fair and River Park locations in Fresno. Proceeds of that effort will be tallied and added to the March Match Up total. Macy’s will also offer a similar opportunity through the month of March during their Bag Hunger campaign at the Fashion Fair store in Fresno, March 1-31.
- Sal’s Mexican Restaurants will offer its patrons a chance to “round up” transactions or to donate $1, $3 or $5 with their bill at all three locations in Fresno, Madera and Selma during the month of March.
Final results for March Match Up will be announced at a special event on Friday, April 3. In 2019, March Match Up raised a record $252,822 from 321 donors.
For more information about the campaign, contact David Hembree at 559.278.5052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Student Cupboard, which is located in the Grosse Industrial Technology building, Room 144 (Barstow Avenue and Jackson Drive), contact Alicia Nelson at 559.278.6717.