Clovis Community College’s farmers market was held Thursday, June 16 for students and staff to receive free fruits and vegetables.
The monthly farmers market hosted by the Clovis Community College (CCC) “hunger terminators”, which is a group of students who put on these events, is a part of a larger effort of providing resources to students and staff of CCC through the college’s “Basic Needs Initiative” which provides a variety of resources for those in need.
Jessica Medina, Student Success Coach at CCC, and organizer for the farmers market said that through programs like the “Basic Needs Initiative” they can ensure students and faculty have fresh produce to make healthy and nutritious meals.
“The Basic Needs Initiative in a nutshell encompasses housing, transportation, childcare, access to health and mental health resources, wellness opportunities. [The Basic Needs Initiative] is something that is extremely important to us over at Clovis Community College and we want to make sure that our students have access to different resources,” Medina said.
Medina hopes that providing resources like the farmers market and giving as many fresh fruits and vegetables as students and staff can carry will help remove any barriers that may impede their success in the classroom and on campus.
The individuals who were working the farmers market were members of the “hunger terminators” such as Alyssa Valdez who is a graduate of the occupational therapy assistant program at CCC.
Valdez said that Thursday’s farmers market was a success simply from the large number of people who came to utilize the resource that was being provided. Students and faculty alike were coming out and bringing their family to pick up fruits and in doing so they made the work worth it, she said.
“I love helping others and it’s just a great way to help out the community and connecting with them in any way so it’s been a great opportunity being apart of this and I didn’t expect to get this much gratification out of it but I’ve enjoyed it,” Valdez said.
Having the opportunity to connect and meet new people throughout the day, Valdez said her experience of helping carry boxes of food to people’s cars and helping them carry their food to the parking lot gave her a chance to hear different stories and learn about the different backgrounds of who they were helping.
“We never know what each student is going through which hardships so we have this [farmers market] once a month, every third Thursday of the month and we also have a food pantry that’s available to students on Tuesdays and that’s at our other satellite campus on Herndon and Peach so if they’re in need of food there’s those basic needs for them,” Valdez said.
Helping students with the farmers market is something Valdez said she loved. During her time helping, she met other students who she related to. When she was a student herself, Valdez had to quit her job for an internship and she utilized resources that were made available to students at no extra cost.
“This has really helped me getting food and there’s been many stories of families that because of school and financial situations and maybe not working and they have kids, they aren’t able to have access to fresh food so this has been a really great help for them,” Valdez said.
For more information on next month’s farmers market at Clovis Community College, make sure to check their social media on Facebook and Instagram for the next time and location.