Oh SNAP! Receives $77,000 Grant to Expand, Add Food Program Services

Dedicated to helping food insecure students, Humboldt State University’s Oh SNAP! program will receive a $77,000 grant from the California State University (CSU).

The award will support and help expand Oh SNAP! services and programs, including:
— Food, bulk containers, and a peanut butter grinder for the food pantry.
— A new campus meal donation program that allows students to donate extra J-Points at the end of each semester.
— An online thrift store, which incoming freshmen can use to find items donated by students at the end of the year.
— A committee to address housing and food insecurity issues at HSU. The group will identify basic needs goals for the year and assess whether those goals were met.

CSU distributed more than $2 million across its 23 universities to support student success and the CSU Basic Needs Initiative, an extensive effort intended to understand, identify, and support students’ basic needs.

CSU awards – ranging from $40,000 to $155,000 – will be dispersed directly to CSU campuses to expand existing efforts to fight student hunger, raise awareness of services currently offered on campus, and develop practices and procedures to provide additional assistance to students in need. The remaining funds will be used to support campus efforts through professional development, technical assistance, and marketing efforts.

State Senate Bill 85 – signed into law in June 2017 – allocated $7.5 million in support of “hunger-free” college campuses. The state’s investment provided the CSU, University of California, and California Community College systems each a one-time $2.5 million allocation to expand the fight against student hunger.

This funding for Humboldt State will support services provided by Oh SNAP!. Established in 2013, the student-run program provides a food pantry, application assistance for state food benefits known as CalFresh, several workshops, and other services to help food-insecure students.

Faculty and staff have been instrumental in addressing student food and housing insecurity issues, as well. Just recently, Social Work Professor Jen Maguire and Rashida Crutchfield, a professor of Social Work at Cal State Long Beach, authored a major study on food insecurity and homelessness affecting students in the 23-campus CSU system. Their research is part of the CSU Basic Needs Initiative.

In 2016, programs and research headed by Maguire and Mira Freedman, the Lead for Health Education, inspired major portions of a state law that takes several steps toward ending student hunger. That same year, Humboldt State became one of the country’s first universities to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The CSU is a national leader in studying the prevalence of food and housing insecurity as well as identifying and implementing solutions to support students’ basic needs and student success, consistent with the goals of Graduation Initiative 2025. In 2015, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White commissioned a snapshot study, to gain a clearer picture of the prevalence of food and housing insecurity on campus. Since the initial snapshot study, all 23 CSU universities have taken a number of actions to address students’ basic needs.

“When students’ basic needs are not addressed it can have an impact on their holistic well-being and academic growth,” said Denise Bevly, the CSU’s director of Student Wellness and Basic Needs Initiative. “That is why all CSU campuses have taken a number of actions to support students who are struggling with food or housing insecurity. This additional funding will enable our campuses to better support students by expanding services such as meal-sharing programs, CalFresh enrollment, and emergency grants.”

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU’s students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and its alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.