Soft Opening Slated for May 4
(Orange, CA)—Santiago Canyon College (SCC) and surrounding businesses have teamed up to make Hawk’s Nest Food Pantry (HNFP) a reality. This program came into being to provide food to students who are food insecure. The HNFP is slated to have a soft opening for interested students on Thursday, May 4, 2017. The HNFT is located in a 45-foot shipping container next to the SCC snack shack, adjacent to the softball field. The food pantry’s hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 and May 18.
Associate Professor of Sociology Tiffany Gause initiated the idea of the HNFP after visiting the Fullerton College Food Bank and witnessing the support it brought to the students. The goal of the soft opening is to encourage more students to visit the HNFP as free food is available for them. “We also want to ensure that students know confidentiality is one of our biggest values,” says Gause.
Food insecurity among college students is a growing challenge on campuses nationwide. In Orange County, the SCC food pantry joins others on local campuses, including Golden West College, Irvine Valley College, Orange Coast College, UCI, Cal State Fullerton, and Chapman University.
The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness conducted research across 12 states at 34 different college campuses (two- and four-year colleges and universities) to measure the number of food insecure college students. The report, “Hunger on Campus,” was conducted from March to May 2016. It found that of the approximately 3,765 students surveyed, 48 percent qualified as food insecure within the past 30 days. According to this research, it is difficult for students to focus on their studies while worrying about their next meal, or other financial troubles. Of the students surveyed, 53 reported they missed class due to food insecurity.
In spring 2016, SCC surveyed a random sample of 638 students. Of those students, approximately 13 percent reported needing some type of assistance in acquiring food and 7.6 percent reported having gone hungry because they didn’t have the resources to purchase food. If the college were to assume that these percentages are generalizable beyond the sample size, SCC is looking at potentially over 1,000 students that are experiencing some level of food insecurity. In addition, 3.9 percent of the food insecure students at SCC have not applied for Cal Fresh or other free community supplies due to embarrassment of being food insecure.
SCC students can apply for Cal Fresh through the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) located on campus. Application information is confidential.
The one requirement of the HNFP is that those who utilize its services must be current students, which will be verified by swiping their student identification card. Upon arrival, students will be given a free reusable shopping bag. Students are then encouraged to walk around to find the items they need most. “This process allows clients to ‘shop’ with dignity…they can take whatever they need and there is currently no limit to what they take,” says Gause.
Students can expect a variety of food at the soft opening of the HNFP. The Orange County Food Bank has partnered with SCC to provide the food for distribution. Health and Wellness Center Coordinator Beth Hoffman says, “HoneyBaked Ham donated dry soup mixes and coupons while Le Parfait donated mason jars for students to keep it in.” Along with food items, students can obtain hygiene products while shopping. The OC Food Bank has also provided cases of diapers for students with babies.
Additional campus support came from an Associated Student Government (ASG) Helpful Hawks Mini Grant and an SCC Foundation grant totaling $3,000 to aid in the purchasing of equipment for the food pantry. ASG Senator-at-Large Josh Moon has created flyers to promote the soft opening. SCC graphic arts student Lily Strozwwski submitted the winning logo for the HFNP.
Donations to the Hawk’s Nest Food Pantry may be made through the SCC Foundation at (714) 628-4970 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Hawk’s Nest Food Pantry, contact Tiffany Gause at email@example.com or (714) 628-84870 and Beth Hoffman at Hoffman_beth@sccollege.edu or (714) 628-4776 or visit www.sccollege.edu/foodpantry.
About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 17,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and seniors - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
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