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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

CalFresh on the horizon

CalFresh is a new program looking to expand on what food stamps can do for students at Pierce.

Financial Aid Director Anafe Robinson is heading the project on campus. Robinson said that CalFresh is a rebranding of food stamps. The program started at the California State Universities after a study that was done.

“Based on that study they found that a lot of students at the CSUs are food insecure,” Robinson said.

The Pierce College program for CalFresh is partnering with California State University Northridge to start the program. Robinson said that this is partly due to CSUN being a school that many Pierce students transfer to.

“If a student is eligible for CalFresh here then when they transfer to CSUN they can already connect to the CalFresh program there,” Robinson said.

The CalFresh program will be more than just food stamps though. Anafe is looking to expand the program into having a food pantry on campus. Anafe said that there is Students Against Student Hunger, a food pantry club on campus, she is looking to make an expanded one.

“We have secured a location. We will stock it and staff it,” Robinson said.

Robinson said that StASH is still a good resource on campus for students and the CalFresh program

“Maybe StASH can help us secure food through donations, and we are securing funds to stock the pantry,” Robinson said.

CalFresh is new on campus and this has brought a challenge of getting the word out. Anafe said that two CSUN interns are helping with setting up the program and helping students get into the program.

“They are usually up and down the mall talking to students,” Anafe said. “They help me with the outreach for the CalFresh program.”

For the moment students who are interested in the CalFresh program need to be taking at least six units to apply to CalFresh. Robinson said that students will be able to get up to $250 a week for food if they are fully eligible to join.

CalFresh is still and expanding program. Anafe said that for contact information on more there is a website for students to visit, but the best to contact through the email that has been set up.

Associated Student Organization President Efren Lopez is looking forward to what CalFresh will bring for the students at Pierce College. Lopez said that the school being so diligent in pushing CalFresh forward is a good sign for the students in need.

“When you make it transparent for students, when they meet the needs, its nice to know that this specific program school is showcasing for the students here,” Lopez said.

Lopez is not the only person on campus that is looking forward to what CalFresh will bring to the campus. StASH President Jordan Rice is looking forward to what CalFresh will bring to the students.

“I feel that it is a valuable asset on campus,” Rice said. “I would love to work with CalFresh.”

CalFresh has already been helping students. Rice said that he personally knows someone that has been helped by the program.

“CalFresh has literally helped my friend, so I have a lot of love for CalFresh,” Rice said.

For contact and more information please email calfresh@piercecollege.edu

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