Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Food at Irvine

From the NY Times' "California Today" blog:

For the last six months, the doors to the hub have been wide open, and the pantry has doled out produce, meat and granola bars, among other goods. Students are not required to show any proof of income to receive the food, though they do receive a document stating that it is meant for those who cannot afford it on their own.
“We are making it O.K. for students to say that they do need help,” said Edgar Dormitorio, the assistant vice chancellor of students affairs. “We know there are students who do without meals rather ask for assistance. We want this to be as low barrier as possible.”
A 2016 study found that roughly four in 10 students in the University of California system went hungry at least some of the time. At the Basic Needs Hub, students are asked for basic demographic information, like where they live and what year they are in college.
“Our hope is we know the needs better and cater to those needs,” he said.
The pantry is paid for in part by a $3 fee students approved in a campuswide vote last year, as well as money set aside from the office of U.C. system’s president.
“For students, knowing there is somewhere to get your food and feel dignified doing that, it is an empowering thing,” said Ernest Devin Rankin, 19, a sophomore in public health policy and educational science, who works at the pantry part time. “We have frozen meat, eggs, bread, milk, cereal — all that goes quickly. Fruit, granola bars, that stuff goes out in a second, we can’t stock it fast enough.”


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