Hello Family, Friends, and Friends of Friends
Some of you know that I began a Student Food Pantry at my workplace, California College of the Arts. This "big little dream" began with a few one off encounters I had with very talented students who needed support to access a basic life need -- food. They had to decide to buy art supplies for homework or food to eat or toiletries for personal care. Art supplies nearly always "win" but the student's well-being always loses. Many of these students leave after one or two semesters.
Sometimes I'd make them some food, or take them to lunch, but this was and is not a sustainable solution - it's a bandaid and symptom of a much larger issue. I began to learn that food insecurity was affecting more students, many who say nothing because of feelings of pride or shame. As much as I wanted to, I could not just feed them all, on my own, all the time.
There is no cafeteria or residential meal plan at CCA like at many colleges and universities, and even if there were, this issue would still exist in some format because not all students can afford to live on campus.
As an artist, student affairs educator and student advocate, it breaks my heart to see students make decisions about eating versus buying the supplies they need to complete a homework assignment. Being a "Starving Artist" should not be a thing. It is not romantic, sexy or "just the way it is"... at least not if I can do a little something about it for my students.
The Student Food Pantry at CCA is not part of my allocated budget for the work I do (we get no money from the general funds). It is purely donation based and it needs a lot of help. It needs food, it needs personal care items (toilet paper, hygiene products, etc). We give them what we have, and if they are open to it, we educate them on finding longer term solutions to support them while they are students.
Yes, California College of the Arts is an amazing and nationally ranked private non-profit college, and we admit students from across the world and across socio-economic lines. For many students they earn generous scholarships that pay for tuition, but there's a gap. The scholarships do not pay for art supplies, meals or housing. In that gap is where we lose them. In truth, this is at many colleges, not just CCA.
While I would love to find a large sponsor that would fill this pantry for me regularly, I am turning to my network - to you - to find a few dollars to help me do a big Costco shopping trip to re-stock my pantry and to keep it going. Help me continue to realize my "big little dream".
Please consider making a donation, it will make a world of difference, even if it's just "one meal". Check out the video to learn more about CCA's Student Food Pantry.
Did you know... (also TLDR):
Food insecurity affects as many as 48% of college students in the United States, 42% in the state of California.
Students who come from lower socio-economic means, are people of color, or come from immigrant family are the most likely to face food and housing insecurity once they are away from home.
Nearly all students facing food insecurity are also facing housing insecurity
CCA students who deal with food insecurity often make critical decisions between eating meals and buying the supplies they need to complete projects - more often in favor of completing their homework.
CCA has a donations based Food Pantry for students as a short term solution to hunger and guides them to information to access to Bay Area and state resources to support long term solutions.
CCA's Student Food Pantry is accessed by 7 to 10 students per week during the academic year.
YOU can help support our students when you donate new, shelf stable food items and/or toiletries to the Student Food Pantry.
DonationsSee top donations
- Catherine Stricklin
- Cindy Kitade
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