“When will I eat next?”
It’s a question 1-in-5 students have probably asked themselves before.
Research on the Cal State system shows that an alarming number of students face insecurities surrounding food daily.
Fullerton College started to address this issue in 2012 by establishing an on campus food bank dedicated to students in need. Chris Lamm, one of the founders of the food bank, noticed how the lack of food was affecting her students and wanted to do something to help.
Jullean Cardenas, Food bank coordinator, said, “we try to take care of the stress area related to food.”
“I don’t get hungry often, a lot of the time I go eight or more hours without eating,” said Skyler Hardin, Ontario resident. Hardin has classes all day Tuesday and Thursday which is the reason he sometimes goes so long without food. He may not be food insecure but the lack of nutrition can affect his concentration according to research done by Students Against Hunger.
The food bank makes an effort to advertise their services through ads around school as well as incorporating it into programs on campus like those for freshman students. Cardenas says their efforts pay off because he continues to see new faces each semester.
Diana Bonilla, freshman, was aware of the food bank through posters she saw on campus and knows a student who is dealing with food insecurity.
Students who face food insecurity are also likely to be housing insecure according to research on 10 community colleges nationwide. In addition, those students are affected by lack of concentration, attending classes and sometimes opt out for one semester or more because of it.
The food bank also refers students to other services on campus or in the county to help them in whatever situation they may be in.
“One of our main goals is to help our students graduate and prosper,” Cardenas said.
To be eligible to receive food, students must bring a current class schedule, be enrolled in at least three units and provide a picture ID.
The Chris Lamm and Toni DuBois Memorial Food Bank is located in room 1955 by the swimming pool. It open on Tuesday’s from noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to6 p.m. It is run by a group of volunteers including staff and students that continue to provide needed services on campus.