Jul 12, 2020

Feeding student success by the pallet load

About 35 pallets of free food were delivered to Fresno State students Friday in the parking lot near Barstow and Cedar avenues.

The Fresno State Student Cupboard partnered with Open Hands Pantry to organize the event.

Jessica Medina, coordinator of the Food Security Project at Fresno State, said the goal is to feed students in a time of rising costs.

“With the rising cost of education and minimal financial aid that students receive, a lot of times it’s not enough to just cover their school costs. You still have to be able to eat,” Medina said.

Through the project, organizers aim to improve performance in the classrooms.

“This whole initiative through the Food Security Project is a student success initiative,” Medina said. “We want our students to be successful. We want them to not worry about food. We try to bring healthy items so they don’t have to worry.”

Friday’s food distribution event was the first of many distribution events planned at Fresno State.

“This is the first year. This is the first distribution. We are excited,” Medina said. “The plan is to do this every third Friday. So we have distribution set up for November and December. Then if it all goes well, we’ll continue to do this every third Friday of the month.

More than 2,500 students heard about the event through email and social media, Medina said.

“Everybody that contacted us back was excited,” Medina said. “Everybody we talked to is so thankful.”

Fresno State student Carlos Gonzalez arrived early on Friday for free food.

The event “is perfect not only for students, but for their families,” Gonzalez said. “I’m glad the school does this.”

The Food Security Project was launched in 2014 as as part of a campuswide effort to end student hunger.

“We have about 31 percent of our population who are food insecure,” Medina said.”We wanna have as much food as possible, get it to them and make sure they have what they need.”

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