Mountie Fresh Day Addresses Hunger, Nutrition

image of fresh produce at the farmers market
By Mike Taylor

April 03, 2018 - 03:38 PM

Mt. SAC will kick off a new campaign to address student hunger and nutritional deficiencies as the college hosts Mountie Fresh Day on Tuesday, Apr. 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Kerr’s Corner area near the Student Life Office.

The event will promote CalFresh and encourage qualified students to sign up for the program, a federally-funded nutrition assistance program that provides up to $192 a month to help people obtain nutritious food. Healthy eating and cooking demonstrations, food tastings, wellness resources, giveaways and games will all be part of the event

“Mountie Fresh Day promotes not only Cal Fresh, but also healthy eating and healthy lifestyles,” said Student Services Dean Koji Uesugi, who co-chairs the Homeless and Basic Resources Committee spearheading the program.

In general, students will be eligible for the program if they receive a CalGrant A or B, are part of the work-study program, work an average of 20 hours per week, or have a child.

“This program addresses a nationwide problem, and this is Mt. SAC’s effort to comply with the Hunger Free initiative,” Uesugi said. “When students are hungry, that affects their ability to be successful in college.”

Last fall, Mt. SAC received $68,000 through the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to establish a Hunger Free Campus program. The project involves promoting CalFresh (formerly the state’s food stamps program) and partnering with a community food pantry, a Mountie Fresh component to be realized in the near future.

Some of the businesses and agencies supporting the program at Mt. SAC include Sprouts Farmers Market, Stater Bros., Sodexo, Smart & Final, the Cal Poly Farm Store, Costco, the Mt. SAC Foundation, Sowing Seeds for Life, AltaMed, Country Kwik, the California Life Line Program, 211 L.A. County, and the Department of Social Services for L.A., San Bernardino, Riverside counties.

In addition to Mountie Fresh Day, students can also apply to CalFresh online through the L.A. County Department of Social Services website.

For more information about the Mountie Fresh, call the Student Life Office at ext. 4525.