Campus, Long Beach, News

ASI announces food programs for international, undocumented, low-income students

Associated Students Inc. shared plans for student food programs on Wednesday in response to food insecurity at Long Beach State.

ASI President Isaac Julian introduced the matter to his colleagues when he was the first to speak at the podium.

“We noticed that housing and food insecurity was among one of the leading issues across the CSU system so we’re looking into ways to fix that,” Julian said.

The food programs in the discussion were still in development but had the opportunity to assist students with their essential needs.

The Alternative Grocery Assistance program is open to students with a low-income background and students studying internationally. Students who applied for CalFresh are eligible for the program, but must meet its standards.

“They can still apply to this program as long as they meet the requirements,” ASI Chief Diversity Officer Fatima Zeferino said.

Students are allowed to reapply for the program every four months. It will try to assist new students that enroll in CSULB.

Zeferino wants to help international students further and promote the resources at CSULB.

“I would like to work with the Commissioner for International Student Affairs to expand on other resources to see what else we can have for international students on campus,” Zeferino said. “Their opportunities are very limited, such as work opportunities and other on-campus internships that I feel like all students should have access to here at CSULB.”

The Supplemental Grocery Scholarship is an initiative for which undocumented students can apply and be awarded an emergency grant to help with their basic food needs. They are given access to the Beach Pantry and food vouchers.

“So I’ve been in contact with a few students who are facing food insecurity and I’ve been helping them out by filling out the application,” ASI Commissioner Ivonne Camacho said. “Although it is only a one-time opportunity so I’m trying to advocate so it could potentially be extended.”

ASI has not announced a date or timeline for when these food programs will be accessible to students.

“The CSU is doing a lot to keep engagement and enrollment rates up. CSULB is in a pretty good space right now so things are looking good for us,” Julian said.

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