Fresno State feeding those in need this holiday season with Helping Hams drive

Fresno State students/ASI officials pose with Fresno City Council President Paul Caprioglio on Monday, Nov. 7 at the Gibson Farm Market during the university’s fourth-annual Helping Hams drive to help feed the hungry this holiday season.  [Photo courtesy of Paul Caprioglio]

By Alexandria T. Montes | Reporter

Fresno State launched their fourth annual Helping Hams Campaign on Nov. 7 at the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market near campus. The Helping Hams will donate to charitable organizations who will provide families and students with a traditional ham this holiday season, and the campaign will run from now until Dec. 9.

“We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from whether Fresno County or not specifically local no one should go hungry over the holidays,” said Gibson Farm Market student employee Miles Robinson.

Any member of the public can contribute to the cause. Donations are accepted in the amounts of $5 increments, six donations of $5 or one donation of $30, which is equivalent to the purchase of one ham. All donations can be received at the Gibson Farm Market.  

Fresno State’s Associated Student, Inc. (ASI) is also partnering with the Helping Hams campaign in hopes to extend and exceed their goal of $7,000 or 230 hams.  

“Every 1 in 3 students at Fresno State are food insecure,” ASI President Tim Ryan said, “They don’t really know where their next meal is coming from and I think that highlights one of the big issues they are trying to address and bring awareness to.”

So far the Helping Hams Campaign has received generous donations from supporters in the community as a way to contribute to this call of action wishing for those in the area to have a better holiday.  Thanks to the RCO Ag Credit and their donation of $3,500, the Helping Hams campaign is now halfway to their monetary goal.

Other donors include: Dr. Sandra Witte, dean for Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro, cabinet members, ASI and even fellow students at Fresno State.

“I hope that no matter what walk of life that anyone comes from they can reach out and give a hand by purchasing a ham for a family in need this holiday season,” Robinson said.

Students in the Greek community are also coming together to raise money and have committed to donate $500, which will make theirs the single largest donation the Helping Hams campaign has ever received from students.

“That is very exciting to see, not only are we having community partners and organizations involved with this campaign, but we are also having a lot of student involvement and support as well,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he wants to challenge his fellow students to participate by donating or taking part by buying a ham to make a difference in a family’s or even a student’s holiday.

For those charitable organizations affiliated with Fresno State who are interested in being considered you can directly apply at  .

All applications will be reviewed by a Personnel Standing Committee, where they will decide who and how many hams will be allocated this year to each of the charitable organizations. On Dec. 16, Helping Hams will then begin the distribution of hams. In the past, the Marjaree Mason Center, non-profits and other community-based organizations have been selected applicants to help bring wealth to families in need over the holiday.

“We are very thankful for having such a supportive community,” Robinson said.