Thanks to ASCC funding, Citrus College students had the opportunity to take advantage of a mobile food truck.
Maryanne Tolano-Leveque, dean of students, said that this started to help homeless students and then she realized that food insecurity is one of the issues for students.
“Maybe (students) do have a home, but paying for food is an issue,” Tolano-Leveque said.
The Feeding America program donates the food, which is free for any student to take.
Interim Supervisor of Student Life and Leadership Development Rosario Garcia said the only thing the school had to pay for is for the transportation and fuel of the truck.
Garcia said the cost for this semester would be about $400, around $200 or less per trip.
The Mobile Food Pantry brings enough food for 300 people, but it depends on how much students want to take home. Some students take many bags full of food and some just one, Garcia said.
“This (Citrus College) is the fifth school I have worked at and this is the first time I see something like this happening,” Garcia said. “In the other schools, they don’t even have a food pantry, which we do.”
Garcia said she is very happy and excited to work with Tolano-Leveque, because she shows that she really cares about the students.
“She has done so much for them; she was the one who initiated the class pass, she started the whole process for homeless students to use the shower facilities in PE (school building), she asked the foundation office to buy toiletries for students to be able to shower; those were her ideas.” Garcia said.
Student Vanessa Salinas, former ASCC member, said that she is taking advantage of the food provided because her family needs it, and that the Mobile Pantry is really helpful for her.
The food truck came twice during this spring semester and it is planned for it to be back in the fall.
Garcia said that in the future, she wants to make sure all the students know about the mobile food truck by not only relying on emails sent to students but also doing posters and signs; that way students can go and get some groceries. She said she wants all the food that comes in the truck to be gone.
Veronica Flores, student and member of the anthropology club, volunteered on May 5th at the food truck. She said that as a single mother she know food can be scarce and expensive, and that any free food students can get would be helpful.
“I noticed that some of them are not even taking everything, they take just what they need and I find that very noble, because they leave enough for everybody else” Flores said.
Bread, rice, beans, pasta, canned goods, cookies and cereal were some of the items available for students to take home.
Student Stephanie Ayala said she feels that because is on campus, and its open and available to everybody students who have food insecurity can get some food without being singled-out.
“It think this is great because students just have it right here on campus, where they getting classes and now also able to get some groceries” Ayala said.