SAN JACINTO – More than 80 bags of groceries were gone in less than 30 minutes during Mt. San Jacinto College’s first Pop-up Food Pantry event, Nov. 21.
MSJC students and employees handed out groceries and informational resources to help families during the 2017 holiday season.
MSJC students, Lizette and Caesar Ortiz of Banning with their two children, received bags of groceries.
“It’s definitely going to help” Caesar Ortiz said, as the couple expressed how the food pantry is necessary and appreciated.
“Current research shows that one of five students sit in their classrooms hungry, and we are hoping to be part of the initiative to lessen the gap of food insecurity by offering food distribution at least once a month or more to help for our MSJC students,” Dolores Smith, dean of student services, said.
Smith understands the complexity of feeding populations and is part of the MSJC “Food for Thought” task force, which includes several MSJC departments and community partners. Current task force members are Dean of Student Services Dolores Smith, Administrative Associate III Paula Moua, Director of Student Life and Development Maya Cardenas, Director of Student Equity Pamela Wright and CalWorks Director Lisa Campbell.
The Pop-up Food Pantry event helps, Smith said, but the taskforce is interested in some long-term solutions. Smith gave insight about “Food For Thought,” pursuant to Senate Bill 85, Section 66027.8 (c) along with support from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to help tackle food security issues on community college campuses. She said this initiative along with community partnerships will help establish permanent food pantries on MSJC campuses.
Smith said MSJC hopes to have a pop-up food pantry at the Menifee Valley Campus and San Jacinto Campus in December.
For more information, contact Paula Moua at [email protected].