Three generations of a Bay Area family joined together to establish an endowment that will help Fresno State students facing food insecurity. Michael Treviño, University of California director of undergraduate admissions, has established a $25,000 charitable gift annuity in honor of his aunt, Ermelinda Treviño, who he affectionately calls “Tia Linda.” The annuity will provide support of the Student Cupboard, which provides free food and hygiene products for Fresno State students in need.

“I am very grateful for the generosity of Michael Treviño who has provided an inspirational gift on behalf of his Tia Linda,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “Their gift will help support the Student Cupboard and make sure our students get the nutrition they need to be successful here at Fresno State.”

President Castro and First Lady Mary Castro supported the establishment of the Student Cupboard in response to a 2012 study that showed 31 percent of Fresno State students were experiencing food insecurity. More than 3,300 students visit the Student Cupboard each month, totaling 15,720 visits in the past year. When the families of those students are factored in, more than 48,000 individuals benefit from the service.

“These are kids who have done all the right things,” Treviño said. “They’ve gotten the grades, they are at the University and their future is bright. Now we just need to invest a little bit and make sure that they’ve got enough food to help them get through.”

Treviño learned about the Student Cupboard from Castro, who he has known since they were undergraduates at UC Berkeley. “When he shared the news about the impact it was having, about all of the students that were lining up before finals week to get food at the cupboard, I thought it was amazing.”

Treviño brought his wife and two daughters to Fresno State to visit the Student Cupboard. The family shared stories of the project with his Tia Linda, who resides in an assisted living facility in Bakersfield.

The annuity they established with Fresno State is a planned gift that will provide annual income to Ermelinda Treviño for the remainder of her life. At the time of her death the remaining assets will stay with Fresno State and provide a funding source to the Student Cupboard.

Treviño said his aunt is passionate about education and was delighted with the legacy she could leave. “Tia Linda isn’t a wealthy woman, but this gift vehicle provided a way for her to use her estate to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students for many, many years to come.”