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Hunger & Homelessness in Spotlight this Week

A food line

November 18, 2019 - 02:11 PM

woman in tunnelAbout half of all Mt. SAC students face food and/or housing insecurity. This alarming statistic underscores why the school’s administration created a Basic Needs Resource Program to take aim at this serious threat to the education of a large percentage of the student populace.

Coinciding with the national week, Basic Needs has designated Nov. 18th – 22nd as Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. Events are designed to bring attention to this problem.

Koji Uesugi“A great many of our students have to balance the daily challenges of lacking basic needs that many of us take for granted,” said Koji Uesugi, Dean of Student Services. “Mt. SAC’s Mountie Fresh Basic Needs Resources is a collaborative effort with faculty, staff, students, and community partners  to respond to these challenges that students face.“

At Mt. SAC, 46% of students are food insecure and 56% are housing insecure. The school is working with local community organizations, non-profits, as well as government officials to address this critical problem. Recently Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) unveiled the Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act at a Mt. SAC news conference. The bill is designed to address the growing poverty crisis among college students.

Mountie Fresh Food Pantry“Our Basic Needs Resources program provides food resources, including application assistance for CalFresh benefits, food vouchers through Student Equity, and a monthly food pantry," said Uesugi. "We also offer housing referrals, in coordination with various housing authorities, and connection to mental health and employment resources. It is all about helping students over those detours and hurdles they face on their educational journey.”

Events for the week include:

Food For Thought Pop Up - Join the campus conversation by sharing your thoughts about hunger and homelessness. Conversation starters will be posted at various locations on campus so you can reply on Instagram. Catch these conversations on the 'gram by following us @mtsacbasicneeds. Hashtag #MountiesCAN #MountieFresh
November 18th - 22nd                                              Location:  Various locations on campus  
Loaf of bread offered Kick Off Event – This session will include conversations with students who have lived experiences related to hunger and housing challenges, a presentation by Scott Chamberlin from the SGV Consortium on Homelessness and Shawn Morrissey from Union Station Homeless Shelter. There will also be a Resource Fair with campus and community resources for food, housing, mental health and wellness, and more. Any Mountie with lived experiences related to hunger and housing challenges willing to share is encouraged to stop by. Free Lunch provide while supplies last.
November 19th - 12pm-2pm                          Location: Founders Hall
Hunger, Homelessness, and the Syllabus: Integrating Basic Needs into the Syllabus- This session will include a brief introduction to data related to the hunger and housing challenges that Mt. SAC students face, student voices, and a writing workshop to craft syllabi that address basic needs. Facilitated by John Brantingham (English & Creative Writing), Pauline Swartz (Library), and Mt. SAC students. 
November 20th - 10am-11am                      Location: Founders Hall
Leah’s Pantry  Workshop – This session will introduce how trauma and adversity impact nutritional health, eating habits, and our relationship to food. Participants will engage in personal reflection while identifying individual, organizational, and system approaches that prioritize compassion and connection to promote health and well-being. This workshop is intended for Mountie Fresh Food Pantry volunteers! Free food provided while supplies last.
November 20th - 11am-1pm                                  Location: Founders Hall 

Student chef at Cafe 91

Delicious Nutritious Budget Friendly Bites- Check out a culinary demonstration and a nutritious presentation for students at the new student run Mt. SAC restaurant, Café 91. It will address how to eat nutritiously on a budget. 50 spaces available.  Free food provided. No RSVP needed. First come, first serve. Be one of the first students to check out Café 91.
November 21st - 12pm-1:30pm                        Location: Café 91 (Bldg 78) 
For more information on the Mountie Fresh Basic Needs Program, please visit their webpage.