The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Students and Staff Band Together Against Hunger and Homelessness Crises


The location where you can donate food and clothes in the Student Services Building. (Signal Photo/Veronica Sexton)

The California Coalition for Youth states that young adults between the ages of 20-24 make up seven percent of the homeless population.

Thousands of young people experience unstable housing and food insecurity, and many of them located right here in the Central Valley. 

That’s why the students and faculty of CSU Stanislaus are taking matters into their own hands this November and working to provide resources to those who are in need.

Basic Needs, CAPS, and Campus Recreation

Karen Jaquez (Basic Needs Administrative Support Coordinator) noted that the main campaign Basic Needs is currently working on is for National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW) to address the hunger and housing crises. 
“So far, it’s been great. We’ve been working with a couple of different campus departments in order to come together to provide our resources for students,” said Jaquez. “We’re providing food along with workshops and some other very important and valuable information.”
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is helping with the campaign and will be offering yoga sessions, breathing exercises, and de-stress activities to students.
Campus Recreation has also paired up with CAPS to work together on the campaign.
Additionally, The Financial Aid & Scholarship Office will be holding workshops to teach students about finances.
Basic Needs’ pop-up pantries will also be available around campus.
Jaquez believes that spreading awareness of Basic Needs’ Warrior Food Pantry and Food Distribution boxes is important, so that students can be aware of these resources that can benefit them.
“I think it’s always great when we’re able to get the word out there about all of these resources and services that we have and just making sure students are aware of them, how to use them, and even for food distribution, you see parents coming up on behalf of their students because they may be in class, so I think we’re definitely helping the community as a whole,” said Jaquez.
When Jaquez was a part of the Student Affairs communication team, she learned a lot about these resources through the NHHAW event advertisements they produced.
Since then, Jaquez herself has utilized The Warrior Food Pantry and the food distribution boxes. 
Calfresh and Campus Cares
Jaquez also promotes the nutrition assitance program, CalFresh, which aids those who struggle financially and can provide them with the accessibility of healthy food.
Students can meet with one of Basic Needs’ coordinators to receive guidance with the CalFresh application process.
Jaquez also commented on Campus Cares, a resource founded by the California Faculty Association (CFA).
“Campus Cares specifically focuses on emergency housing, so for those students who are maybe being evicted, or sometimes, we have students who are a part of a domestic violence relationship, and they really just need to find somewhere else to stay, we’re able to provide emergency housing for them and help them get accommodated both on campus and off campus, if needed,” said Jaquez.
Jaquez believes that promoting NHHAW helps students learn more about these available resources and elaborated on why focusing on this event is helpful.
“So, it’s important to spread awareness because not only is it happening here on campus, but it’s happening nationwide, and we just really want people to be informed and to know about our resources here. We also want them to know that there is ways that they can get involved,” said Jaquez.
Jaquez also commented on what she thinks is causing the hunger and homelessness crises.
“I think, right now, the prices of food are going up, the prices of rent are going up and it’s getting a little bit harder for people to keep up with that,” said Jaquez.
Jaquez also expressed how her and colleagues help those who are facing these issues.
“We’re listening to them and that we will do anything and everything we can to help them get whatever they’re going through,” said Jaquez.
Giselle Ramirez Gonzalez (Grad Student, Public Administration) is one of the student-workers helping run the drive.
“We don’t necessarily have a goal, it’s just to get as much donations as we can,” said Gonzalez.
Ag Department Turkey Donations
With Thanksgiving drawing close, Faculty members of the Ag Department are preparing their yearly turkey donations to United Samaritans, a charitable organization which operates a lunch truck for low-income people and the homeless.
Hector Vera, Stan State’s Staff and Garden Specialist, says that while “this year was rushed”, the faculty in the Ag department were determined to do their part.
“If anyone has any connections to grocery stores, we can organize for a better year next year,” said Vera, who also urges students to take care of themselves while they serve their communities. 
“Just give what you can, without dragging yourself down,” he said.
Vera says that the turkeys have already been paid for, and now all that’s needed is transportation.  The turkey pick up will happen on November 20th at the Foster Farms on C Street in Turlock.
Anyone interested in helping with delivery can contact Vera through his email: [email protected]
Warrior Eats, and the importance of NHHAW
Aside from the drives spearheaded by Basic Needs, a NHHAW donation drive has been organized by Warrior Eats.
Donations will go directly to The Warrior Food Pantry and the soon-to-open Warrior Clothing Closet.
Ashley Sulvaran (Senior, Sociology) and Alexa Espericueta (Junior, Criminal Justice) both work with the Food Pantry through their participation in College Corps, a program designed to allow students to develop leadership skills through meaningful service opportunities. 
“Growing up we were always trying to find the cheapest options, but also keeping in mind we wanted to eat a little healthier,” Sulvaran said.”We want to provide options that are healthy and cheap.”
Sulvaran remembers her parents patronizing their local food pantry in her youth.
Now, she hopes to return some of that kindness through her service.
As a sociology major, Sulvaran hopes to utilize this experience after graduating and starting her career as a social worker.
“Just like food is needed, clothing is needed too,” said Espericueta.
“We want to have accessibility and gender neutral clothing,” said Sulvaran, who notes the importance of providing appropriate clothes to members of the LGBTQ+ community who may not have access to them.
Isabella Christensen (Junior, Political Science) is a SLD Civic Engagement intern participating in NHHAW donation drives.
Christensen feels like this opportunity has been rewarding for not just herself, but also for students.
“I really wanted to make sure that being part of this job, I was doing something that’s a little bit bigger than myself [ . . . ] being able to provide for the students that are here that need some more extra resources, you know, wanting to be able to let them know that they’re welcome here, [ . . . ] and that there’s something for everybody here,” said Christensen.
Since she has never participated in a type of event like this, Christensen appreciates that she is involved in student-based Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week activities on a college campus. 
Christensen also expressed her concerns about how the food and housing crises affect students.
Like Jaquez, Christensen also visits the Warrior Food Pantry and always finds useful items at the location.
” [ . . . ] Just like being a college student, and having to pay different bills and everything, like not always having enough money for like groceries, for example . . . and that’s very common, it’s not just not me dealing with that, you know, and so just having that resource and being able to be a part of that, it’s great for me and it feels really good to me,” said Christensen.
Nu Alpha Kappa
NAK President, Jaime Muniz, explained that in previous years members would go without showering or shaving as a way of drawing attention to the plight of the homeless population who don’t have access to basic hygiene.
“[This month is] a chance to spread awareness in our campus community, and hold our fellow students accountable,” said Muniz.
While they tend to collaborate with Basic Needs, scheduling issues prevented them from working together this year.
However, that won’t stop NAK from gathering in the Quad from now until Nov. 11, and doing their part to care for their community.
Donations will be used to feed the homeless on Nov. 12 through Turlock’s local We Care Program
Leftovers will join the supplies from “Give a Little, Help a Lot”, the Campus Eats drive, the Basic Needs drive, and stocking the closets and pantries of CSU Stan’s Basic Needs.
How You Can Help
The “Give a Little Help a Lot” food and clothing drive runs from Oct. 11 to Nov. 17.  
Anyone interested in donating can find drop-off boxes in the Student Center Room 206, the Warrior Cross Cultural Center, and the Student Services Building, as well as by any Dining area.
Donors to the NHHAW drive organized by Warrior Eats, from Oct. 16 to Nov. 12 will also be entered into a drawing for Stan State Swag. 
CSU Stan Men’s Track & Field team member, Jemar Armstrong (Junior, Kinesiology) donated clothing in honor of NHHAW.
“I personally decided to donate because, I mean, it felt like the right thing to do. I had an excess amount of clothes that I don’t really wear and I know people out there need them, and I know that there’s resources on campus for me to pursue that and to help them,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong is also a part of the CalFresh program, and recommends checking out the Food Pantry and CalFresh.

Stanislaus State students from Basic Needs and Student Leadership & Development (SLD) are raising awareness with their annual food and clothing drive for the upcoming National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW)

Basic Needs and SLD aren’t the only ones in on the action. CSU Stan’s Nu Alpha Kappa (NAK) is also participating, and has been for over ten years.

Warrior Eats has also organized a NHHAW awareness drive.

Ag Department Faculty are delivering Turkeys to United Samaritans.

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Students and Staff Band Together Against Hunger and Homelessness Crises