Support the CPO Food Closet to Fight Hunger on Campus!
The Community Programs Office (CPO) -- UCLA's cross cultural center -- has supported low-income students for over 30 years. One of our key services is the communal food pantry. The goal of our food pantry is to ensure that no student has to sacrifice nutrition while pursuing higher education.
After the 2008 economic collapse, some students faced financial hardship and for a variety of reasons, and also experienced added difficulty in accessing healthy food and other basic necessities while continuing to pay for their UCLA education. In collaboration with a student leader who noticed his peers were struggling, CPO created the Food Closet in 2009 to address and respond to the food insecurity being experienced on campus. The mission of the Food Closet is to provide a designated space to store and provide food for students, who can take whatever they need from its shelves anonymously.
CPO Food Closet has come a long way – after launching as a single cabinet with only instant ramen and Campbell's Soup, we now operate a fully-stocked pantry and additional storage space out of the Student Activities Center on campus stocked regularly with fresh produce, breads, organic canned foods, hygiene products, and much more.
Today, the CPO Food Closet continues to be student-run and utilized by thousands of students each year.
A recent UC-wide survey found that 4 in 10 University of California students do not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food.
Of nearly 9,000 students surveyed, 19% of students 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.
Among other findings:
Nearly half of undergraduates reported food problems, compared with 25% for graduate students.
Nearly one-third of those in need said they had difficulty studying because of hunger and no money for food.
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, averaging 3.1 compared with 3.4 for students without such problems.
Food is the most basic human necessity, yet some students are facing the difficult choice of sacrificing their nutrition as they struggle to pay for their education or deal with other forms of financial hardship. Your donation of any amount will aid with the maintaining and purchasing of fresh produce, canned goods, and toiletries for our Food Closet.
Your support will help the CPO Food Closet ensure that healthy food is available to every student, anonymously, so students can have access to this service without fear of judgment.
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:
"Thank you so much. Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help but you guys are so much appreciated for all you do. You make school possible for struggling students."
"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."