CSUB Alumni Association Collects More than 460 Items For University’s Food Pantry

California State University, Bakersfield’s Alumni Association collected a total of 466 items for the University’s Food Pantry at its recent inaugural Holiday Mixer.  More than 100 tickets were sold for the event.

“It was incredible to see such a strong showing of CSUB Alumni and the Bakersfield community at our inaugural mixer,” said Justin Salters, President-Elect of the Alumni Association and organizer of the event.  “Together, we’re helping provide opportunities for students to succeed while addressing a major obstacle to academic performance, food insecurity.”

“Not only will students benefit from the donations made from the alumni, but, as pantry users learn where the food is coming from, we can increase a sense of community and belonging on campus and within the greater community of alumni and Bakersfield,” said Food Pantry Coordinator Kassandra Hernandez. “Creating a sense of belonging also is one of the goals of the pantry, so it's nice to have events where students can mingle with alumni, now professionals who once were in their shoes.”

CSUB’s Food Pantry opened in September to serve students, faculty, and staff to address food insecurity concerns.  A recent study conducted on college and university campuses found that 1 in 10 students experience homelessness and 1 in 5 experience food insecurity. As of Nov. 3, nearly 600 students had used the food pantry. In the first month, 42 percent of pantry customers had been there more than once.

Students and staff may visit the CSUB pantry once a week and collect food based on a points system. The pantry operates 27 hours a week with a coordinator, two paid graduate students, and some 30 student volunteers who as of early November logged 220 hours of service.

Some of the food is donated; some is purchased from food banks in Bakersfield and Fresno.

For more information about the CSUB Alumni Association, please visit www.csub.edu/alumni/.  For more information on the CSUB Food Pantry, please visit www.csub.edu/sustainability/food.

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