ATTN STUDENTS: Pick Up Free Groceries This Tuesday
September 06, 2019 - 03:04 PM
Currently enrolled Mt. SAC students are encouraged to pick up free groceries at the monthly Mountie Fresh Food Pantry, held the second Tuesday of each month of the Fall and Spring terms. The first Pantry of the Fall 2019 Semester will be this Tuesday, September 10 from 11am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm.
Students will bring their Student ID to the Building 9C Student Life Patio to check-in. They will then get to select perishable and non-perishable grocery items, as well as toiletry supplies and paper products (when available).
“The Pantry was created to address the food insecurity needs of our students”, explained Koji Uesugi, Dean of Student Services. “This is a national problem and our numbers of food insecure students is similar to the statewide average.”
A recent survey showed 46% of Mt. SAC students having some form of food insecurity (not having enough food to eat and/or having to forgo food for another expense such as books or housing).
“Most students find they cannot go to college and work a 40 hour a week job,” said Uesugi. “That puts incredible strain on their financial resources.”
The Pantry is a partnership with Sowing Seeds for Life, a local non-profit located in LaVerne. It was first pilot tested in May 2018. In order to provide more complete assistance to those lacking the financial resources, LA County CalFresh staff will be on hand to help students with applications for assistance to that program, which can provide up to $192 a month to purchase nutritious food items. CalFresh application assistance is also available through Mt. SAC’s new Basic Needs Resources office. Students can contact the office for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (909) 274-4160.
While CalFresh is an income-based government program, the free groceries offered at the Pantry is a benefit available to Mt. SAC students who express a need for food.
“Research over the years has shown that not having enough to eat will affect performance in academics, athletics and social involvement,” concluded Uesugi. “Being hungry makes it hard to focus and stay engaged in and out of the classroom.”
Photos by Jeffrey George