Stan State has received $105,000 in grant funding from the California State University Chancellor’s Office as part of the CSU-wide effort to eliminate hunger on California’s college campuses.
The grant is in line with California’s SB-85, which in part allows CSU campuses to apply for funding to become hunger-free campuses. SB-85 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2017. System-wide, more than $2 million was distributed by the CSU across its 23 campuses as part of the CSU Basic Needs Initiative.
Within the grant requirements, Stan State had to demonstrate need and document programs already in place to combat the problem of students going hungry.
The grant proposal pointed to a recent survey that indicated 26 percent of Stan State students downsized meals or skipped them entirely because they lacked the money to purchase food. In addition, 21 percent indicated they routinely miss meals entirely because of financial issues.
According to Jill Tiemann-Gonzalez in Stan State Student Affairs, who worked on the grant proposal, the funding will be used to establish a new location for the campus food pantry, which will be in the Student Services Building. The new pantry will have new shelving as well as a refrigerator and freezer. Thanks to the ongoing support of several campus organizations, notably the California Faculty Association, Stan State has continued to maintain a student food pantry.
Funds also can be used to support student-based training in food-related health issues, notably how to assist needy students in applying for California’s CalFresh program, a subsidy that allows the purchase of most foods at markets and food stores.
As part of this funding, Stan State received $25,000 to develop innovative programs to combat food and home insecurity issues. One of the CSU-wide events already being planned is participation in November’s National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. Stan State would use this week to support a set of activities focused on awareness, education and fundraising to battle the problem.
In addition, there are plans to bring in experts and educators to talk with students about how to handle financial issues, and there will be opportunities to partner with regional organizations, such as Turlock’s United Samaritans Foundation, to provide similar education and support efforts in the region.