Officials Hope New Grant will Ensure Fewer Stanislaus State Students Go Hungry

TURLOCK -- California State University, Stanislaus is hoping fewer students go hungry thanks to a new $105,000 grant.

According to educators, about 26 percent of students either go without a meal or downsize at Stanislaus State.

Freshman Gabriel Zepeda won’t have to worry about food.

“We don’t have a lot of food ‘cause we don’t go grocery shopping a lot and money is an issue sometimes,” Zepeda told FOX40.

Thanks to the grant, university officials hope to help more students like Zepeda. Educators say it will help the campus become “hunger-free.”

Officials say a part of the grant will help them bring in experts to talk with students about how to handle financial issues.

“It’s definitely a major issue here on our campus that our students are going hungry, and being hungry in class makes it a lot harder to focus,” said ASI Student Resource Assistant Declan Silveria.

Silveria is a sophomore who helps manage the pantry. He says he knows of many undergraduates who have no choice but to go hungry.

“Have made comments that they haven’t eaten in 48 hours because they didn’t have a chance to go grocery shopping over the weekend because they got their paycheck late,” Silveria said.

Educators say the six-figure grant will help them expand the pantry options.

“To provide refrigeration, freezing, more shelves so that we can expand our offerings and really step up to help students with this need,” said Susanne Espinoza, vice president of student affairs.

Students like Zepeda say knowing they’ll have a warm dish is one less worry while they’re working toward graduation.

“Actually, will help, ‘cause I’m going to start eating healthier too here ‘cause it is hard to eat healthy," Zepeda said.