STOCKTON – Cup Noodles, cereal and PB&J sandwiches are cheap staples of the college student diet yet, some don't even have access to that much.
“Often times many of our students are hungry,” said Shayla Walker.
Delta College's Student Activities Director, Shayla Walker, is working to change that by setting up a new student food pantry on campus in the student activities building.
“As long as you're taking a class here, you'll have access to the food pantry. We want to serve as many students as possible,” Walker said.
The new food pantry officially opened Friday. It operates on a point system where students will be allowed to spend 100 points a semester or 16 points a week on food and hygiene products.
“We want it to be a place where you go and if you need it, we got you,” Walker stated.
A California community college ‘#RealCollege’ survey of more than 40 thousand students across the state, found that 50 percent reported being food insecure in the 30 days prior to the survey and nearly 20 percent reported to being homeless the previous year.
“How can students be successful if their basic needs are not even being met,” Walker asked.
Based on the results, all community college in the state were given a grant to address the issue.
Walker hopes the pantry will help students perform in the classroom.
“Part of being successful is looking at the whole student and being able to serve them, not just academic wise but also their basic needs as well,” Walker said.
Students like Denise Ramirez agree that having a food pantry on campus allows students to focus on school instead of their survival.
“Instead of them worrying about what to eat, they can worry more on their homework and have food available to them whenever they need it instead of stressing about it,” Ramirez said.
Delta's food pantry is accepting food and monetary donations and they're also hoping to collect business attire for students. If you’d like to donate, you can do so by clicking here.