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CSUB to Debut Pop Up Fresh Produce Pantry

California State University, Bakersfield, in collaboration with Apple Core Project and Kaiser Permanente, will celebrate the first Pop Up Fresh Produce Pantry from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, March, 12, at the CSU Bakersfield Student Union.

The CSUB Food Pantry has been in existence since September 2017, providing students, faculty, and staff with access to food products. From September through December 2017, there were 927 unique students who visited the pantry a total of 2,615 times. Almost 200 of those students accessed the pantry between five and ten times during that period.

It was soon discovered that although the pantry was meeting some of the needs of the students and staff who were utilizing the pantry, the need for fresh produce was becoming more evident.

“Students and faculty would ask if we could bring in fresh produce,” said CSUB Food Pantry Coordinator Kassandra Hernandez. “Of course, we wanted to, but we didn’t have a way to hold the produce and make it easily accessible.”

Apple Core Project will take in donations from the farmers at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market on Sundays after the market has finished its day. The donations of fresh produce will be stored in a refrigerated truck at the Kaiser Permanente Ming Medical Office Building, which is just across the street from CSUB. On Mondays, students who operate the pantry at CSUB will retrieve the produce from the refrigerated truck at Kaiser Permanente and distribute it to students, faculty and staff for free.

The partnership between CSUB, Kaiser Permanente and Apple Core Project is the result of their joint participation in the Kern County Food Policy Council.

Individuals available for interview are:

Kassandra Hernandez, Food Pantry Coordinator California State University, Bakersfield

Jaclyn Allen, Executive Director Apple Core Project

Kristin Weber, Community Benefit Manager Kaiser Permanente, Kern County

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