November 22, 2019
Contact: Christina Jimenez
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office announced today it recently received a $500,000 anonymous philanthropic donation to fight food insecurity and support hunger-free campus efforts across the system.
Community colleges have long recognized that food insecurity is a deterrent to student success, with campuses increasing efforts to address students’ basic needs for food through hunger relief programs like food pantries. A recent California Community Colleges confirmed this severity, reporting that 50 percent of the nearly 40,000-student survey participants had experienced food insecurity within the last 30 days.
The $500,000 gift will benefit local on-campus food pantries, with funding distributed to colleges based on financial need as established by Pell Grant eligibility.
“Students working to earn a college degree shouldn’t have to struggle to afford basic resources such as food and housing,” said the anonymous donor. “Food insecurity has been linked to negative impacts on overall student well-being, academic performance, and career development. We want to help students through supporting the food pantry program.”
“It is crucial that we provide our students with the support they need to achieve their educational goals,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “We appreciate the donor’s action to address the emerging crisis of student hunger on our campuses. Gifts like this can have tremendous impact.”
This generous gift will bolster current efforts implemented to address food insecurity across the California community college system. The issue has been at the forefront of legislative priorities. This year’s state budget includes $500,000 for research into initiatives to combat food insecurity. Also, Golden 1 Credit Union generously contributed more than $30,000 in support of the , with resources being used to deploy student ambassadors on campuses in the Sacramento Valley to connect low-income students to available food resources.
Additionally, the Foundation for California Community Colleges has launched a fundraising campaign to which will expand the CalFresh outreach project and raise awareness for the , and support other innovative solutions that efforts to improve student outcomes in health and education.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the , a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the or follow us on and .