The Ins and Outs for Free Food at CSUDH: Office of Student Life Food Pantrycsudhbulletin October 10, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jaclyn Okwumabua, Staff Writer
Hate the feeling of hunger?
As college students, starvation should be the least of our worries. One thing in common is when that disgruntled knot disturbs our stomach, it triggers the evilness in us.
Earlier this year, The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice reported around 48 percent of community college students and 41 percent of four-year college students responded to a survey saying they face food insecurity. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact amount nationally, the range shows why it is essential for higher institutions to counteract against students falling into this issue.
My previous employment in the Office of Student Life (OSL) as a Peer Educator provided a chance to target food insecurity amongst college students. Located on the first floor of the Loker Student Union, the food pantry department attracts hungry mouths in exchange for their Student I.D.
Each workday was filled with being the plug for free and sometimes fresh foods for my peers. After they filled out a “Mini Menu” that listed available items in the pantry, I would fetch and pack the items in a brown paper bag. My spirits were always high after giving students food and other supplies they desired because most of the time they left in a better mood, knowing that they don’t have to worry about their next meal.
I remember the ones who came in with doubtful faces, wondering what the catch was. Hardly any students walked in with confidence that there was a space distributing the goods. Usually, during their first visit, they would ask us, “Is it here where they give free food?” as if it was a rumor they heard. After confirming the gossip, their shyness dwindles as they come forth with questions to walk out with goodies.
Esmeralda Cortez, Jr., health sciences major, said the food pantry has faced shortages early this semester after OSL spent the summer promoting. She recalls her summer work hours consisted of advertising the Food Pantry to students passing by.
“It’s only been the first couple of weeks, and everything is gone,” said Cortez.
Cortez and I started working at the same time in Fall 2018. After reminiscing in the beginning of the semester, Cortez feels that helping students escape food scarcity is rewarding. She later continues that being in the same shoes makes it effortless to extend her generosity.
Laura Rodriguez, Jr., biology major, found the food pantry convenient and started coming in more often as the Spring semester progressed.
“We already pay for food elsewhere,” said Rodriguez. “So when I come here, I know I don’t have to worry because it’s free here.”
With rising tuition and other expenses students face when chasing their education, it is important for higher education institutions to implement well-rounded resources to escape hunger.
Office of Student Life Food Pantry is located in LSU 121, open Monday-Friday from 8 AM – 5 PM. (310)-243-2081.