Mendocino College (MC) organized a series of events to promote CalFresh Outreach Week February 22-24 to increase awareness about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the food insecurities college students and the community face.
On Wednesday, February 23, MC staff handed out DIY food kits to students so they could prepare a healthy and easy Quinoa Bowl dish at home. The recipe, provided by MC Culinary Arts Instructor, Nicholas Petti, went along with the meal and a demo video was posted to the college website.
On Thursday, February 24, cars lined up as MC staff and volunteers from MC athletic programs helped distribute food to students and the community at the Ukiah campus. The food was generously provided by the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) and included a variety of grocery items such as fruit, vegetables, rice, lentils, milk, peanut butter, pork loin, bread, cereal, diapers, and more.
“We are grateful for the support from our partners at the Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State and the REFB that allows us to provide opportunities like this to our students and the community,” says MC Director of Community Relations & Communication, Janelle Meyers. “CalFresh is such a great resource for those looking to supplement their food budget, especially with the rising cost of goods. We look forward to hosting more events in the future that address local food insecurities.”
2022 is the first year the Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State has cultivated an intersegmental partnership effort for CalFresh Outreach Week. Campuses from all three segments of public higher education hosted in person and virtual events, along with posting tips and facts on social media using the hashtag #CalFreshWeek.
Mendocino College student Dylan says, “CalFresh is truly outstanding with what security they provide; giving assistance to students who may not have access to the food they need. Many people may see these as simple programs, when in reality they’re saving lives.”
Megan, a California State University student who received CalFresh Food explained, “I was working three jobs to pay all my bills... I didn’t think I would qualify, but I did! [I'm] able to have freedom to buy enough food and not worry about how I'm going to make breakfast.”
Students who are eligible for CalFresh are able to receive a maximum of $250 each month to purchase groceries at the grocery store, Farmers’ Markets, and online. Those who the county approves to receive benefits can focus on their studies to ensure they are successful in the classroom while having the ability to purchase nourishing food. To apply, visit www.mendocino.edu/calfresh or call 707-468-1081 for application assistance.
About CalFresh Food: CalFresh Food is a federally funded program, also known as SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Eligible individuals receive money loaded onto an EBT card that they can use at the grocery store each month for healthy groceries.
About the Center for Healthy Communities: CSU, Chico's Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) is a leader in research-based nutrition, physical activity, and policy changes to support community health. The Center’s community programs promote food security, nutrition education, physical activity, food safety, and provide resources and training to thousands of California residents of all ages through CalFresh Outreach, community health policy, community services & classes, and more.
About the Redwood Empire Food Bank: Since 1987, REFB has been feeding our neighbors in need and leading the community to end hunger. REFB distribute's food through their own programs and partner organizations in Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties. As the largest hunger-relief organization in the area, REFB works on the front lines of emergency food assistance in the region, playing a crucial role in helping individuals, families, seniors, and children.
Photo 1: Making Quinio Bowls demo video production. From left to right: Naoto Horiguch, Student Life Specialist, Janelle Meyers, Director of Community Relations & Communication, Nicholas Petti, Culinary Arts Management Instructor.
Photo 2, 3: Mendocino College athletes & staff assisting with a food drive with Redwood Empire Food Bank. From left to right: Jennifer N Darrell Ford, Ivan Pantaleon, Naoto Horiguchi, Summer Gonzalez, Aimee Gordon, Payton Conrad, Tray Conrad, Brandon Macharia, Katherine Escobedo.
Photo 4: CalFresh booth and DIY Quinoa Bowl hand out. From left to right: Jimi Beshara (student), Naoto Horiguchi (staff), and Seth Woldemar (student).