November is here, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and during this holiday season everyone deserves full bellies.
The Association Student Inc. Beach Pantry is taking the opportunity to stock the campus food pantry that helps students in need. The organization held a food drive that took place Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the speaker’s platform. They asked for students, staff and administration to bring items such as non-perishables, canned food items, toiletries and school supplies.
According to CSULB communications major Cynthia Nguyen, stated they had a good turnout and participation of students stopping by and donating was higher than expected. Students and faculty came down and donated food and other school supplies, such as scantrons and green books. Professors donated erasers, pencils and other school supplies.
The food pantry’s main objective for this event is to spread awareness for the new ASI Beach Pantry and collect items for CSULB students in need. According to Rudy Ojeda, communication and political science major and Beach Pantry assistant, students are allowed to pick five items per visit three times a week. Students may qualify by showing proof of financial need, such as pay stubs or proof of financial aid as well as a CSULB student ID.
Nguyen said more than 80 students have benefited from the Beach Pantry since its doors opened on Aug. 29.
“As far as the demographic of our attendees goes, I believe our campus and student body is very supportive for one another,” said senior communication major, Ahmad Shehadeh. “I have felt that vibe so far while working on this event. We should have a positive turn out.”
According to senior communication major, Claire Weaver, they have exceeded their goal of receiving 100 items.
Long Beach Coca-Cola Company donated three cases of water, and Dunkin Donuts donated 240 donuts for students as well.
O’Neill Surf, a national surf brand, is sponsoring the Beach Pantry by helping with advertising expenses, such as flyers.
“You never know if your classmate sitting next to you is in needed” Nguyen said.
Something members of the Beach Pantry didn’t expect was the support students who didn’t have any items on them but donated money instead.
Student Emergency Intervention Wellness staff member Macie Lindsay-Clinton states that about 21 percent of students on CSU campuses experience some kind of food insecurity while in college.
The Student Emergency Intervention Wellness program helps CSULB students by providing meals, temporary emergency housing, funds and academic counseling.
“Having the Beach Pantry here on campus shows the interest and support students have for one another,” says Lindsay-Clinton.
The Beach Pantry is located in USU 307 and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. For more information contact the Beach Pantry at (562) 985-5264.