The Student Cupboard has kicked off its March Match Up fundraiser campaign, partnering with Moss Adams LLP, Granville Homes and an anonymous donor to match up dollar-for-dollar $100,000 in gifts toward the Student Cupboard.
In addition, other companies such as Dutch Bros., Macy’s and Pieology will contribute to the March Match Up campaign.
On March 13, all six Dutch Bros. stores will give a portion of their sales to the Student Cupboard.
Each Monday this March, all seven Pieology locations will donate 20 percent of each sale in which a customer presents the promotional flyer and/or electronic proof.
Macy’s, located at Fashion Fair and River Park, will encourage their customers to round up their purchases to support the Student Cupboard from March 15 through March 31.
Throughout the month of March, a group of people, including Fresno State first lady Mary Castro, have been asking the community to help stop food hunger at Fresno State.
The campaign has became a “universitywide effort to raise funds for the Cupboard,” said David Hembree, director of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Development.
The Student Cupboard was established in fall 2014 by President Dr. Joseph I. Castro and his wife Mary. Their goal was to create a safe, comfortable place for students to go and grab a basket of food and/or hygiene products.
The goal of $100,000 has helped to sustain the Student Cupboard through an entire academic year. The March Match Up campaign in 2018 earned $150,044 from donations that varied from Fresno State alumni, community, companies, farmers and students.
“People want to support our hardworking students,” Hembree said. “They did the hard work, they made it to Fresno State. We don’t want their lack of food to prevent them from going further in their career and toward success.”
This resource, open Monday through Friday, 30 hours a week, is located in the Industrial Technology (IT) building room 144.
In addition to providing food and hygiene products, the Student Cupboard also assists with additional resources such as helping students apply for CalFresh.
CalFresh is an assistance program that helps individuals and families to buy food. The Student Cupboard provides information on how students may be eligible for additional help on food resources.
More than 43 percent of Fresno State students surveyed had experienced food insecurity during the past academic year, according to a 2017 California State University study.
The semester of 2014-15, when this resource became available, it had less than 200 visits a month..
In the academic year of 2017-2018 there were about 5,000 visits a month at the Student Cupboard, which totalled to about 48,000 visits.
“We see our numbers grow every year, because one of the things that has really been important is for that grocery store feel,” Hembree said. “It is a dignified situation where people do not have to feel less than because they are in need of help.”
Throughout the academic year, there are numerous of donations going to the Student Cupboard whether it be with food or money gifts.
Last semester, the Student Cupboard was gifted a grant from an on-campus organization to purchase diapers. Although, students may see some provided at the moment, it will only be as they are available.
“It is important for us to support all students, including student parents, and [we] are working on making this resource more available in the future,” said Alicia Nelson, director of Wellness Services.