Food Pantry assuages campus food insecurity


Janice Spraggin / The Advocate

Students gather around a newly arrived shipment of food for the campus Food Pantry and begin unpacking it and take it to SA-234, where it is stored.

By Jose Rivera, Advocate Staff

Unaware students may be flushing money down the drain by not taking advantage of free programs offered by Student Life and other offices on campus that offer support.

Students on campus struggle every day to get a meal for different reasons, and when they take advantage of these programs, they are never interrogated about their motives.

The Free Breakfast Program is run by Student Life Office and the Associated Student Union (ASU) in collaboration with culinary arts.

According to Student Life Coordinator Charles Ramirez, between 150 and 200 people take advantage of the services, which are provided Monday to Thursday every week from 8-10:30 a.m.

Once a student is set to get their free breakfast, sometimes two options will be offered to them.

On Friday, one of the options was a plate of scrambled eggs with potatoes.

Contra Costa College alum Ellis Miller said he tried it during the spring semester of 2018 and said the free food was not actually enjoyable, but it will get someone through the day.

He said if he had to rate the food, he would give it six out of 10 in comparison with other breakfasts he has had before.

“It wasn’t as good, but it wasn’t as bad as other places,” Miller said.

Ramirez said the process is simple. All students need is to go to the ASU Office next to the Student Lounge in the Student and Administration Building and show their college ID to receive a free breakfast.

The program is in the process of catching more students’ attention and has had an increasing number of students take advantage of everything the program.

“Currently we are doing as much advertising as we can,” Ramirez said. “We do social media and sometimes emails to students and staff so they can also let people know about the free services.”

Vincent Garcia, who has not yet decided on a major, said the food is mostly meant to help students who have a long day or people who don’t have the time to prepare breakfast.

The program is designed for students who have financial problems or for any other reason that would affect their ability to produce a breakfast before classes.

Garcia said he fully supports programs that help students with their personal expenses and that the program makes it easier for students to have a productive day.

The ASU at CCC also offers a Food Pantry program where students experiencing financial hardship or food insecurity can find a relief from food expenses.

The food pantry is located in SA-234 and any CCC student is eligible to receive food.

The pop-up market is another way students can take advantage of free food.

The market is hosted every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. in front of the SA Building “if the weather allows us to do it, of course,” Ramirez said.

This food is brought from the local food banks and is meant to be given to students who need it. They can take it home and share with family and friends too.

Ramirez said few people know free food is available on campus.