Lobo’s Food Pantry, a rather new resource on campus that celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon ceremony in just February of this year, is holding a food drive this week.
Lobo’s Food Pantry is an entity on campus located in Zinfandel across from the student health center. They house nonperishable foods including beans, pasta, canned vegetables, dry rice, breakfast bars, coffee and tea, quick meals, fruits, vegetables and bread and even basic feminine hygiene items when able. The purpose is to aid food security among students who are struggling to meet their basic needs.
The pantry is open for students Mondays between 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesdays 4 - 6 p.m and Wednesdays 3 - 6 p.m. Also included within this resource is the CalFresh food program assistance and referral services for students experiencing food insecurity.
Any student on Campus can use this resource for free one time a week with their student ID. According to the Sonoma State website, about 40 percent of students at Sonoma State alone struggle with food security.
Erik Dickson, Executive Director of Associated Students, reports that about 45 students a day use this program. This program stays up and running by none other than student run programs themselves: Division of Student Affairs, Associated Students, and the Instructionally Related Activities Fund. Staffing is provided by Associated Students’ JUMP program.
According to Dickson, this program has been extremely successful since the start.
The shelves are always stocked and the students replenish it weekly. The students who run this program are launching a donation drive this week on Monday starting at 8:00 a.m. until Friday, ending at 9:00 a.m. as a part of Hunger and Homeless Awareness week that is held once a year.
This is the first year Lobo’s Food Pantry has participated.
Dickson explains that, “The point of this donation drive is the Pantry is contributing really two things. To collect materials, yes, and also to bring awareness. As much as a product is great, knowing why your getting them is equally important. They go hand in hand.”
There will be big bins on the first floor of the Student Center accepting these donations. The products donation drive is aimed towards receiving are new hygiene products. Examples include but are not limited to deodorant, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo.
Dickson states, “I think the most important thing out of any of this is that our fellow Seawolves who are in need know there is support out there for them no matter what. If they are having a hard time with hunger or homelessness there is a place you can go here.”