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Nobody Goes Hungry

Two food pantries at the University serve students in need.

Example items found in a bag of food that CAl State LA's food pantry give out.

Example items found in a bag of food that CAl State LA's food pantry give out.

Cara Gonzales

Cara Gonzales

Example items found in a bag of food that CAl State LA's food pantry give out.

Cara Gonzales, Photo Editor

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At Cal State LA, helping students fight hunger is a commitment; as a result, two types of food pantries are available to serve students. In these pantries, non-perishable foods such as rice, oatmeal, pasta, canned beans, nuts, canned vegetables, and fruits are available at no charge to students.

The University’s Division of Student Life works in partnership with the office of the Dean of Students, the University-Student Union (U-SU), and various departments throughout campus including: the Alumni Association, Associated Students Inc. (ASI), Center for Student Involvement (CSI), College of Health and Human Services, College of Natural and Social Sciences, Department of Financial Aid, Kinesiology and Nutritional Science, Marketing, Public Health, Social Work and Sociology.

Students and staff are welcome to donate goods on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Food Pantry office located on the third floor of the U-SU. Specifically, service days are on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  To receive free food, Cal State LA students must provide proof of enrollment and must present their ID.

“I think the food pantry is very important for the students because a lot of us struggle economically and I know there’s a lot of concern about food and housing insecurities, so this is one step in addressing that but we could still do more,” said Jose Vanscoit, who currently works at the Cal State LA Food Pantry.

For students who are receiving these goods, information such as food expiration dates and food safety information at the pantry entrance. Furthermore, for foods that have expired, they are not necessarily unsafe to eat. Rather, Federal, State, and local regulators are not forced to place “expired by”, “best use by” or “best before” dates on food products, as many foods are still edible outside of their initial expiration date. 

The Guerilla Food Pantry, located in King Hall C4039, is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m.  to 2 p.m., but will be expanding their schedule to Monday through Thursday soon. 

Beth Baker and Jessica Bodoh-Creed from the anthropology department started the Guerilla Food Pantry when they noticed a trend in hunger on campus. In response, they started their own food collection, which serves students in a similar fashion to the food pantry in the U-SU. Donations can be made at any time by placing items in the boxes in front of the office. Beth Baker shared how Guerrilla started: 

“We just thought there should be a way of making [the Guerilla Food Pantry] available to our students here rather than getting food here and taking it off campus. The volunteers were across [various] majors and lots of students from different parts of our campus which makes it interesting. We started out small and had about 10 people a day, but by the end of last spring semester we were getting 50 people a day.”

With the help from student volunteers, students can spread the word and serve more of those in need.

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Nobody Goes Hungry