MiraCosta College Starts Mobile Pantry to Fight Student Hunger
The college is starting a new Mobile Food Pantry which will offer free food to students, along with access to a nutritionist, community resources and information about the CalFresh program, California’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The idea of the pantry was developed through discussions with MiraCosta College President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke and San Diego Food Bank CEO Jim Floros. It is located at the Oceanside Campus Library Hub Circle next to the Administration Building.
Earlier, the college started MiraCosta Cares Farmers Market where students have free access to fresh produce, bread, and dry goods on specified dates through December at the Oceanside Campus Library Hub Circle. It already has a pantry that provides an emergency sack lunch or snack for any student experiencing food insecurity.
A recent report by the California Student Aid Commission found more than a quarter of California students food and housing insecure. About 35 percent of students were classified as having low or very low food security with students of color, especially the black students and older students, are most likely to experience it.
California already has a law in place that addresses the problem of campus food insecurity by streamlining the application process and removing barriers college students commonly face when enrolling in Cal Fresh.
Lack of access to a reliable supply of nutritious food can make a student fail assignments and exams, withdraw from classes or the university, score lower grade points and even stay away from such important career opportunities as internships.