A ribbon-cutting ceremony today officially launched Lobo’s Pantry, a new free food distribution service for Sonoma State University students who are in need.
SSU mascot Lobo was joined for the festivities by President Judy K. Sakaki, Associated Students President Wilson Hall, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande, Food Pantry JUMP Coordinator Casey Elbert, Pantry Coordinator Kim Estrada and other students, faculty and staff.
Lobo’s Pantry, which is designed to ease food insecurity issues among students, is supported by the Division of Student Affairs, Associated Students, and the Instructionally Related Activities Fund. Staffing is provided by the Associated Students’ community service program, JUMP (Join Us in Making Progress). A survey by the California State University system found that 40 percent of Sonoma State Students reported some level of food insecurity.
About 60 percent of the food for the pantry is supplied at cost by The Redwood Empire Food bank and the remaining food will come from food drives or be purchased with money raised through donations.
The food pantry carries nonperishable items such as beans, pasta, canned vegetables, dry rice, breakfast bars; coffee and tea; quick meals; fruits and vegetables; and hygiene and laundry products, when available.
Any student enrolled at Sonoma State University is eligible to use the food pantry as often as once a week, at no cost. While a student ID is required, confidentially of personal information is strictly maintained.
The pantry is open Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m., Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m. and Thursdays, 4-6 p.m.
The pantry also provides CalFresh food program assistance and referral services for students experiencing food insecurity (those not having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food). A representative from the Redwood Empire Food bank will be at the pantry twice a month to assist students in signing up for CalFresh services.