Update 11/27/18: 200 donors have helped us reach our goal early and unlocked $25,000 for CPO Food Justice Initiatives! However, the campaign isn't over yet and your gift can still support essential needs and Food Justice for UCLA students.
Chris Arranaga ’82, President, Gorilla Marketing has stepped forward with a $25,000 challenge gift to help us build wider support and reach a larger audience than ever before. We are grateful to Chris for his generosity and hope it inspires you to help us reach our goal!
If this campaign reaches 200 supporters of any amount by December 7, an additional $25,000 will be granted to the CPO Food Closet and Food Justice initiatives.
The Community Programs Office (CPO)—UCLA’s cross-cultural center—has supported low-income students for over 30 years with a variety of services. One of our key retention services is our communal food pantry, which has sparked national conversations regarding student access to food and other basic necessities. From its humble beginnings as a room with canned food and instant noodles, the legacy of the CPO Food Closet has expanded towards programming, leadership opportunities, and services centered on Food Justice.
As the home of one of the first campus-based food pantries in the nation, the CPO continues to be at the forefront of combating student hunger. The CPO has launched several other initiatives such as weekly grocery bundles, holiday box giveaways, student programming on nutrition, and food recovery from local businesses and organizations. Additionally, the CPO has been committed to providing free food during departmental events, with the option for students to take food home through to-go boxes.
Today, the CPO continues to serve as a lead advocate for Food Justice.
In 2016, the University of California (UC) Global Food Initiative published the Student Food Access and Security Study, one of the first reports highlighting student hunger on college campuses.
Of nearly 9,000 students surveyed, 19% indicated that at times they went hungry due to lack of financial resources, and an additional 23% were able to eat but lacked steady access to a good-quality, varied, and nutritious diet.
- Nearly 4 out of 10 UC students reported they do not have a consistent source of high quality, nutritious food.
- Nearly one-third of those in need said they had difficulty studying because of hunger.
- About one-fourth said they had to choose between paying for food or educational and housing expenses.
- Students without consistent access to quality food reported lower GPAs.
In 2017, the UC Global Food Initiative released the follow-up report, Global Food Initiative: Food and Housing at the University of California, that encompassed both student hunger and homelessness in higher education. Additional findings included:
- Food insecurity was more prevalent among low socioeconomic status (SES) students, such as first- generation students or a student from a low-income family.
- 44% of undergraduate students and 26% graduate students have experienced food insecurity.
- Food insecurity among college students has been associated with poor health, poor academic performance, and mental health systems such as depression and anxiety.
No student should have to sacrifice their nutrition while in pursuit of higher education. Your contribution will aid in the daily maintenance of the CPO’s Food Justice initiatives, such as student programming, the purchase of food items and other basic necessities, and more.
Every gift brings us closer to unlocking $25,000 for the Food Closet. Help us share this campaign and reach 200 donors by December 7.
Please share our campaign and cause with your family and friends, follow us on Facebook, and visit our website for more information. Help us spread the message of generosity, community, and giving this holiday season!
Testimonials from students who have used the CPO Food Closet:
"I feel very blessed to be here at UCLA. All of the programs they offer to help students is amazing and even help with bare necessities. I'm touched. Thank you, UCLA."
"Thank you, CPO. Thanks to this food closet, I wasn't hungry every day this summer and I have something to look forward to during the school year when I'm hungry and have a headache! <3"
"Thank you so much for the food! I have to commute from Oceanside (3 trains, 1 bus) and I'm a nursing mother/military wife so this is amazing support."
"Thank you so much. I don't really know where I'd be without this...keep putting the positive back into this world, we need it now more than ever."