As part of Big Fresno Fair’s “Feed the Need” food drive, the Fresno State Student Cupboard is giving away fair admission tickets to people who donate five or more canned food items between Sept. 22 and Oct. 12.
“It’s a way for the campus and community to help others by providing donations of non-perishable food items,” said Jessica Medina, coordinator of the Food Security Project at Fresno State. “In return, they receive a good ticket to the Big Fresno Fair for Oct. 13 – the actual ‘Feed the Need’ day at the fair.”
Tickets are one per person and valid only for Oct. 13.
The Student Cupboard was founded in part to combat food insecurity in fall 2014.
“The most recent study done was in 2012 by faculty member Alida Espinosa, and she estimated approximately 31 percent of the students she surveyed were experiencing food insecurity at Fresno State,” Medina said. “The CSU Chancellor’s Office estimates 1 in 5 are experiencing food insecurity on our CSU campuses.”
Some causes of food insecurity include “many of our students being first generation, many of our students being financial aid eligible, changing demographics in the work that students are doing outside the classroom,” Medina said.
There are more contributing factors to food insecurity. The CSU chancellor’s office is currently working on a study on all 23 campuses to look at food and housing insecurity among CSU students, Medina said.
Medina has been fighting the food insecurity of Fresno State students for years.
“I was fortunate to be able to assist with opening the Bulldog Pantry when I was an undergraduate student at Fresno State,” Medina said.
Bulldog Pantry, a food pantry run by Fresno State students, is across the street from campus. It is located at 2311 E. Shaw Ave at the corner of Shaw and Jackson avenues.
“Through my experiences, I was brought on to help with the initial research surrounding providing food security for Fresno State students in 2014, and was lucky enough to be hired to coordinate the entire project of initiatives,” Medina said. “Providing food security for students has always been of great importance for me, and I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to be able to assist with it on our own campus as well as helping other campuses to get their own programs running.”
According to a press release from the Big Fresno Fair, last year’s “Feed the Need” program accumulated 21,460 pounds of food for the Fresno State Student Cupboard.
The Student Cupboard is located in the Industrial Technology building, Room 144. It is open on Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.