Celebrating 10 Years of the CPO Food Closet
About the CPO Food Closet
The Community Programs Office (CPO) has supported low-income students at UCLA for over 30 years. Our CPO Food Closet, among the first of its kind and now celebrating its 10th year, has sparked national conversations regarding student access to food and basic necessities and has been replicated at other universities. From its humble beginnings as a single cabinet, the CPO Food Closet now operates as a fully-stocked pantry with fresh produce, beverages, breads, organic canned foods, hygiene products, and more.
The CPO has launched several other initiatives such as weekly grocery bundles, holiday meal boxes, student programming on nutrition, and food recovery from local businesses and organizations. The legacy of the CPO Food Closet has expanded towards programming, leadership opportunities, and services centered on Food Justice.
Today, the CPO Food Closet is not only a student-run operation utilized by thousands of students every quarter, but also a leader in Food Justice and basic needs advocacy among many universities.
Student Hunger on Campus
In 2016-2017, the UC Global Food Initiative published two major studies on food access and housing, highlighting student hunger and homelessness. 9,000 UC students were surveyed with these findings:
- 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 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.
- Food insecurity is associated with poor health, poor academic performance, depression, and anxiety.
Contribute Today and Celebrate 10 Years of the CPO Food Closet!
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 reaching our goal of 100 supporters!