The 7th Annual Big Fresno Fair “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive kicked off Thursday (Oct. 1) with an on-campus campaign to benefit the Fresno State Student Cupboard and free fair passes for those donating the most canned food.

The Student Cupboard is an initiative of the Fresno State Food Security Project that provides free food and hygiene items to Fresno State students in need of assistance.  It opened a year ago and is housed in the Industrial Technology Building.

BFF153706_FstateFoodPost2_9.30.15_FNL Over the next two weeks, the Fresno State community — specifically student-run clubs and organizations — is being asked to bring five or more canned food items per person to the Fresno State Student Cupboard in exchange for a free entry pass to The Big Fresno Fair good for Thursday, Oc.15 –  which is the day of the Fair’s “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive.

“Hunger reaches deep into our community, including many of our own students and their families,” said Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.  “With the lingering economic state in the Valley and extended drought conditions, it’s clear that food insecurity is more prevalent than ever. I am very proud to have our Fresno State community and student organizations come together in this challenge to help their peers in providing resources so many of us take for granted.”

For the drive, which runs until noon Oct.14, the Fresno State Student Cupboard will collect the canned food and track the donations of all qualified Fresno State groups interested in competing for the highest volume of food brought in.

In addition to their free entry pass earned for the day of the “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive, the winning organization with the highest volume collected will also receive an additional free entry pass good for every five cans of food collected for the remaining days of the fair. As an added bonus, the winning team will also receive 20 Big Fresno Fair concert tickets to see BET award winner and Grammy nominee rapper 2 Chainz at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct.17.

Fresno State students and employees can drop off their canned food directly at the Student Cupboard anytime between now and noon Oct.14 in the Industrial Technology Building (2255 E. Barstow Ave. at   Jackson Avenue). Student Cupboard hours are:

  • Monday, noon – 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Friday, noon – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday CLOSED
  • Sunday, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

“The 7th Annual Big Fresno Fair ‘Feed the Need’ Community Food Drive will greatly benefit from this new partnership with the Fresno State Student Cupboard,” said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair.

“In the past six years, the Fair has collected more than 443 tons of food to benefit the organizations supported by Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army and we hope to see that number climb to new heights this year as we look to include Fresno State’s totals,” Alkire added. “The Fair believes that we all need to do our part to help our community and this is just one of the ways each of us can help make a difference for those in need. Five cans of food for entry to the Fair – it’s simple as that.”

The Big Fresno Fair partners with Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army to help operate this major food drive each year with the support of community partners including Save Mart Supermarkets, FoodMaxx, Wells Fargo and local media outlets.  Last year alone, the food drive collected 279,491 lbs. of food.

The total food collected during the Fresno State Student Cupboard Drive (which will remain at the Cupboard) will be added to the total collected during the Oct.15 food drive at the Fairgrounds between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. to create a grand total of food collected for the overall “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive effort.

For more information regarding the Student Cupboard, contact Jessica Medina at 559.278.0866 or  or visit


About The Big Fresno Fair:

The Big Fresno Fair, founded in 1884, is the fifth largest fair in the state of California and represents the 21st District Agricultural Association. More than 650,000 people from throughout the State visit The Big Fresno Fair each year making it the largest event in the Central Valley. Members of the Board of Directors include: Leta Ciavaglia, President; Debbie Jacobsen, Vice President; Jerry Pacheco, Secretary/Treasurer; Elizabeth Hudson; Linda Mae Balakian Hunsucker; Larry Serpa; Ricky Vang; Dora Westerlund and William White. John C. Alkire heads the daily operations in his role as CEO. The 2015 Big Fresno Fair will run Oct. 7 – 18. For more information about The Big Fresno Fair, please visit

Fair Media Contact: Danielle Griffin or Ashlee Wolf (Office: 559.650.3229/ Cell: 559.994.3133)

Fresno State media contact: Tom Uribes (559.246.1717 or