Sacramento State's new student food pantry celebrated its official grand opening Tuesday, Sept. 15. Launched earlier in the month by the University’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) to address the issue of food insecurity, the pantry already is providing basic food items and toiletries to students who face increasing challenges while trying to juggle the costs of living, working, and obtaining their degrees.
Students may visit the ASI Food Pantry once a week with their valid Sacramento State student OneCard. Located in Yosemite Hall Room 163, the pantry operates on a point system that gives each student up to 16 points per week to use. Items are separated into three categories – side dish or non-food item, single meal, or items lasting multiple meals – allowing students to obtain a variety of items during their weekly visit.
“This will make a tremendous difference in so many lives of so many students,” President Robert S. Nelsen said at the grand opening. “Our students here deserve the very best; they deserve the opportunity to be successful. Because of this food pantry, they will get that opportunity.”
The pantry is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. Since opening its doors, the ASI Food Pantry has averaged more than 45 students taking advantage of its services each day.
“The pantry’s ability to provide food and basic toiletry items to students free of charge is just another way that Sacramento State redefines the possible,” said 2014-15 ASI President Lauren Lombardo. “It will mean that students who often are forced to choose between tuition, fees, and books, or a sustainable food source will have the ability to both meet their physical needs and complete their degree.”
A fall 2013 study by ASI found that 60 percent of Sacramento State students who responded identified occasions where they needed help supplementing their own food sources. Based on this information, the ASI Board of Directors (student government) worked together with professional staff and campus leaders to develop a plan to bring the food pantry to campus.
Associated Students Inc. serves as the official governing body of the Sacramento State students. ASI provides experiential education, leadership opportunities, student representation, business and recreational services, campus life programs, and activities that support the campus and the greater Sacramento community.
For more information, contact ASI at (916) 278-4148. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. –Craig Koscho