CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hunger from food insecurity. It's a quiet epidemic that impacts college students every year.
"That could be skipping meals, it could be not having access at all," says Jessica Medina with Clovis Community College.
According to a 2018 survey from the California Community College Chancellor's Office, more than 50 percent of Central Valley students experience food insecurity.
"When you can't focus on your studies, when you can't focus on your schoolwork, it's hard to be successful and to be able to complete to get to graduation," Medina said.
Among several other local campuses, Clovis Community College has a free food pantry at the Herndon Campus twice a week.
Once a month, they hold a distribution event.
"The best way to reduce stigma is to make it open to all students," Medina said. That's what we've done."
The college campus has partnered with the Central California Food Bank so students aren't left with unhealthy options or forced to skip meals.
"Cup of noodles, ramen, never really have time to go get fresh produce from anywhere," says student Julian Gonzalez.
Instead, it's offering students fresh produce.
"Having the option to get free fruit and vegetables is very rewarding to us because it has so many benefits to us," says student Alexa Criado. "It's going to help us improve our studies time and our overall thinking instead of making us tired and sleepy during class."
In addition to the food pantries, California students may qualify for up to $234 a month to buy groceries through the state program Cal Fresh.
Clovis Community College working to provide students food
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