Research shows that around 58.7% of Cerro Coso students face food insecurities, which means they don't have reliable, consistent access to food. That is 9.7% higher than the sampled average of other community colleges.
In response to the growing concern, virtually every college has established a food pantry. Cerro Coso believes that no student should have to learn on an empty stomach. The Hunger Free Campus pantry was created in 2017 to address the food insecurities of students.
“It's a constant struggle to keep the food pantry stocked,” said Katie Bachman, Outreach Director for the college. “We recognize that it will take the entire community to help us in this fight against student hunger.”
The college will be holding a food drive in front of Stater Brothers on Saturdays, January 11th and January 25th, to help stock the pantry for the upcoming semester. The community is invited to donate non-perishable food items during the collections in front of Stater Brothers, or any time by contacting the Outreach Office at (760) 384- 6353.
“The impact of food insecurities on students is significant,” said Bachman. “It compromises academic performance and increases the likely hood of missing classes or dropping out of school altogether.”
As more students learn about the program and stop by to pick up food, the pantry also serves as an information system. Many students do not know about the resources available, where to get help or how to start. Outreach staff coach them about on-campus programs and share literature from local social service agencies and community groups.
For more information, contact the Outreach Office at Cerro Coso at (760) 384-6353.