Donor-funded program continues to remove barriers to learning

An average of 5,500 unique students visit the Student Cupboard each month to obtain food and critical hygiene items. Amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) news in recent days, student visits have increased as the need during this unexpected and challenging time continues to grow.

The Fresno State Student Cupboard launched in 2014 to meet the needs of hardworking students who are challenged by food insecurity that might inhibit their academic success.

While the Fresno State campus is more quiet than normal — with students attending class virtually and many faculty and staff working remotely — the Student Cupboard remains open to help students who may be experiencing financial setbacks and other hardships during this time. 

“During the past two days, I witnessed the immense gratitude that Fresno State students have for the services provided through the Student Cupboard,” said Fresno State’s first lady Mary Castro, who visited the Student Cupboard on March 18 and 19 to lend a hand. “Knowing that their campus and community is there for them during this difficult and challenging time has been a source of emotional and nutritional strength.” 

“Continuing to serve them is the next best thing to giving each student a hug,” Castro said. “I want them to know that we will get through this as a team.”

From fresh fruit and vegetables to nonperishables, students can still visit the Student Cupboard once a day. But to keep everyone safe and to make the process more efficient, students can pick and choose what they need by ordering at the door and staff will do the shopping for them. 

The Student Cupboard is located in the Grosse Industrial Technology building, Room 144 (Barstow Avenue and Jackson Drive). The hours remain the same: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday; and 11 a.m  to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. 

The Cupboard is a 100% donor-funded program under the University’s Food Security Project to increase student access to nutritious food. 

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. Studies show that when students are hungry, it is more difficult to think and retain what is being learned. During the last academic year, 6,073 students visited the Cupboard totaling 57,265 visits. 

To help students experiencing hardship during this uncertain time, visit