The Cal Poly Pomona Broncos Care Program hosted a Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week for students Nov. 18-22.
The overall goal of the Broncos Care Program is to provide students with the resources they need if they find themselves in a place of housing instability, food insecurity or any other emergency and/or crisis situation.
“Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is designed to educate the public, draw attention to the problem of poverty and build up the base of volunteers and supporters for local anti-poverty agencies,” states the Basic Needs website regarding the 2019 Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
On Monday, Nov. 18, the week kicked off with the “Ribbons of Truth.” During this event, students decorated the campus with ribbons containing facts and quotes regarding student hunger and homelessness.
One of the quotes marked on a ribbon stated, “California State University (CSU) 2018 Study of Student Basic Need Reports that: 42% of college students have been food insecure — that’s 10,900 of Cal Poly Pomona students who are food insecure.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, there was a resource fair where students could gain information regarding resources to support basic needs on and off campus. During the fair, L.A. County Department of Public Social Services representatives provided information and applications students could use to apply for services such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh.
According to Covered California, “Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources.” CalFresh is a program that assists low-income people to be able to afford food.
Often, this assistance comes in the form of benefits that are distributed through personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that are accepted at most grocery stores and farm stores. Many CPP stores, such as the CPP Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch, accept EBT as a form of payment.
There were also other organizations in attendance, such as the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Tri-City Mental Health and Wellness Services and many more.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, there was a panel, “My Story: Understanding Student Hunger and Homelessness,” where CPP students shared their experiences navigating hunger and homelessness.
Dinner was provided during this event. The event was held so students could learn how the CSU system and CPP are addressing food and housing insecurity.
Thursday, Nov. 21 was an opportunity for students to help stock the Poly Pantry. The event, Stock the Poly Pantry: Park and Give, occurred in Parking Structures 1 and 2. This was a convenient drop-off point to make it easier for students to donate toiletries, non-perishable food and nutritious snacks from their cars.
On Friday, Nov. 22, Cultivating Community: Parenting Students and Basic Needs was a discussion regarding the parenting student experience and meeting basic needs. Lunch was provided during the event.
During the week, students were also able to drop off items for the Poly Pantry at multiple drop-off locations.
Students are still able to drop off donations, as the Poly Pantry operates almost entirely on donations. Drop-off locations include the ASI Care Coordinators’ office, the Bronco Student Center (BSC), Building 35, room 1339C from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and Conference and Events front desk in the Bronco Student Center (BSC), Building 35, room 2359 from 8 a.m-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.
The Poly Pantry is located on the first floor of the Bronco Student Center (BSC), Building 35, room 1333.
Students with meal plans were also encouraged to donate a meal through the Feed a Bronco Meal Sharing Program.
The Feed a Bronco Meal Sharing Program allows CPP students who have a meal plan to be able to donate a meal to their fellow CPP peers that need meal assistance.