Sacramento State students who face issues of food insecurity are getting some help this fall from a food pantry operated by Associated Students Inc. (ASI) in Yosemite Hall Room 163.
An official grand opening is planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the lobby of the north wing of Yosemite Hall. There will be brief remarks from University President Robert S. Nelsen, as well as ASI staff and officials.
Students face increasing challenges while juggling the costs of living, working, and obtaining their degrees. Many find themselves choosing between basic essentials, such as food and toiletries, and the required costs of tuition, fees, and books.
Most of the items have been donated by students, alumni, faculty and staff; supplemented with items from the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.
A Fall 2013 study by ASI found that 60 percent of Sac State students who responded identified occasions where they need help supplementing their own food source. Based on this information, the ASI Board of Directors (Sac State’s student government) worked with professional staff and campus leaders to develop a plan to bring a food pantry to the campus.
“This past year, ASI saw the need for a food pantry to support food-insecure students,” says Lauren Lombardo, the 2014-15 ASI president, who now serves as chair of the California State Student Association. “Members of the ASI Board of Directors took on this project under the leadership of ASI Vice President of Finance Michael Bloss and with the support of several ASI staff members.
“We believe this initiative is needed on our campus because it helps students in the most dire situations be able to take care of basic necessities and focus more on their education and their future after graduation.”
The ASI Food Pantry will provide food and toiletries at no cost to Sac State students in need. Students who have limited resources may visit the pantry once each week with their valid Sac State student OneCard. The pantry operates on a point system, where students who lack access to food have up to 16 points per week to use. Items are separated into three categories – side dishes or non-food items, single meals, and items lasting multiple meals – allowing students to obtain a variety of items during their weekly visit.
The pantry relies on donations from members of the greater Sac State community and local businesses. Those interested in donating or volunteering can visit the ASI website for more details about how to support this new initiative.
In April 2015, the California State University Chancellor’s Office initiated a study to provide a better understanding of food insecurity across the 23 CSU campuses. The study looks to assist CSU campuses in their efforts to increase student success by identifying ways to address the challenges that students face when trying to make ends meet. “Students should be focused on their education – but this focus is hard to maintain for those who do not know where they will sleep or when they will eat their next meal,” says CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
Associated Students Inc. serves as the official governing body of Sac State students. ASI provides experiential education, leadership opportunities, student representation, business and recreational services, campus life programs, and activities that support the campus and the greater Sacramento community.
For more information, contact ASI at (916) 278-4148. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.