Clovis Community College takes on food insecurities

From L-R: Gurdeep Hébert, Dean of Student Services and State Center Community College District Trustees Magdalena Gomez and Annalisa Perea converse inside the Crush Pantry. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLOVIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Currently enrolled Clovis Community College students have a helping hand moving forward.

At both the Herndon Campus and the main site, students of CCC are able to access the Crush Pantry, a program designed to help those that are challenged by food insecurities.

“Some students come to school hungry and having a place where they can grab a quick bite to eat to sustain them while attending classes helps keep them focused on their studies and not their hunger,” Director of Marketing & Communications Stephanie Babb said. “Plus being able to grab some extra food for them to take home for later is an added benefit. Also, some students have transportation issues and can’t get around as easily, so having a place on campus to get some items to help feed themselves or their families helps.”

CCC visited other pantries in the area to have theirs function similarly to other campuses and are looking for community support to grow the program.

Students are permitted to take various amounts and items are often limited to 20-25. The use of the Crush Pantry is helpful for the student, but also the family as well.

The pantry was created to tackle an issue that was beginning to show worrying signs.

“Students were showing up to Health Services not feeling well and it had a lot to do with the fact that they had not eaten,” Babb said. “At the same time there was a huge survey done Nationwide at colleges that indicated over half of the students on college campuses had food insecurities.”

In the Central Valley area, the numbers showed that the problem was relevant to this area as well.

#RealCollege Survey reported 45% of our students who responded to the survey were food insecure in the last 30 days from taking the survey,” Babb said. “53% of all Central Valley community college students (including Clovis Community College) who took the survey were food insecure in the last 30 days from taking the survey.”

However, with the effort from CCC and the Clovis community, these issues can be solved once and for all.

Crush Pantry at Herndon Campus is open Monday-Friday 11:00am-2:00pm and the smaller pantry at the main campus in the Health Services office is open Monday-Friday 8:00am-11:30am and 12:30pm-4:00pm.

Above all, student success is what CCC strives for, and having a healthy diet is a contributing factor in that.

“Proper nutrition is essential to student success and when students are hungry, it may hinder their ability to study and complete assignments,” Babb said. “When students visit the pantry, we provide students information on how to access these programs such as EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs & Services), CAFYES (foster youth support program), and TRIO (support program for first generation, low-income or disabled students). We are here to serve our students and encourage them to utilize the food pantry if needed.”

For the past three years, Nugesse has been a vital part of the Madera Tribune covering sports, news, entertainment and feature writing. Nugesse’s ability to interact with the community allows him to promote students, athletes and community members with fairness and objectivity. We are happy to have Nugesse join our team here at the Clovis Roundup.