FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno City College is trying to combat student hunger with hopes it will spur student success.
The Ram Pantry at Fresno City College is packed with bags of non-perishable food and even fresh produce for students. Volunteers spent hours preparing the bags which will go to students who aren't sure where their next meal will come from. "Personally, I've experienced it in class," student Daniel Perez said. "I've heard students growling their stomachs, and I can they've actually left the classroom embarrassed and no student should be embarrassed about being food insecure."
Officials at Fresno City College say students suffering from chronic hunger is a national epidemic. "Research has showed us that students can't concentrate if they don't have adequate food and basic needs that need to be met, attendance improves if we bring food," Linda Vang with the college said.
Vang says she and other staff and students started the Ram Pantry as a way to make sure students aren't skipping meals because they can't afford to eat. All students have to do is show their valid Student ID and they're guaranteed a bag full of food.
Interim college president Dr. Cynthia Azari says opening the school food pantry has been a community effort with many staff members taking money from their own paychecks to help out. "We began to give donations and volunteer time to put the bags together and staff the pantry," she explained. "And we have quite a few faculty and staff who are donating on a monthly basis through payroll deduction."
The Fresno City College Ram Pantry is open every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.