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El Paisano

Rio Hondo’s First Ever Food Pantry

With  plentiful donations, the efforts of Food Access Task Force and Community Support, Rio Hondo proudly opens up the campus’ first food pantry for students.

The Town Hall: Food Access & Student Success meeting took place in the Student Union Tuesday afternoon. The meeting was hosted by Grant Manager of Equity, Cecilia Rocha and the Student Services Assistant, Tam Nguyen.

These  women have been interested in food insecurity amongst college students and studied and conducted surveys. Rocha and defined food insecurity as “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in socially acceptable ways.”

Their findings from the survey  were shocking and concerning. Of the students surveyed at Rio, 47% of them worry or stress about not having enough money for food. That means almost half of all the students on campus may not eat for hours, days, even weeks.

This is not only a crisis among our campus but in colleges across the nation. From a survey published on SwipeHunger.org, “Across the country 1 in 5 students regularly skip meals, having to prioritize the other costs associated with college.”

From an anonymous student statement presented by Rocha’s and Nguyen, “I work 32 hours a week in order to pay for my insurances, car payments, tuition, and books. I often skip meals in order to save money…Like many other students that may be in my situation. I am struggling to get by on finances and education. I, and many others in my situation, need help.”

The Food Access Task Force and Community Support has been at work for the last few semesters providing food to Rio students already. They have done activities like Grab & Go Snack Stations, Finals Week Food Breaks, Grocery Bag Distributions and others.

ASRHC President, Martin Covarrubias, President Dreyfuss, VP Madeline Shaprio, and past ASRHC President Andrew Gonzales all cut the ribbon for the grand opening of Riosource Room.

ASRHC past President Gonzales is not attending CAL State Fullerton, but came back to Rio Hondo, his alma mater, to see the opening of the pantry that he was the main advocate leader for.

President Dreyfuss donated $25K towards the pantry and Rio Hondo was granted a one-time fund of $27,450 for student enrollment for CALFresh and for the food pantry.

The pantry is stocked with fruits, mac & cheese, oatmeal, and grocery bags that are already packed for students to grab.

Now, because of the development of the Riosource Room, food is available Monday through Thursday to students facing food insecurity. It is located next to the Bookstore in the A-Building.

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About the Writer
Olivia Venegas, Opinion / Lifestyles Editor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sGyVCsilhc

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
Rio Hondo’s First Ever Food Pantry