SBVC Continues Food Pantry Services During Thanksgiving Holiday Season

College students, sometimes called starving students, are known to subsist on ramen noodles, which is bad enough for individuals, but not enough for students with children. During this COVID economy, local campuses are preparing for increased food demand as the holidays draw near.

Dr. Raymond Carlos, director of student life at San Bernardino Valley College, is seeing more families coming to the pantry with the little ones in tow because parents don’t have a job or a babysitter. “A lot of our students are single parents with children at home. A lot of them had to choose between going to work or staying at home.

They didn’t have a choice,” he said.

These days, students and families are likely visiting the food pantries closer to home, but the campus pantry averages about 85 students a month for bags of food and students. They also have an option to receive clothing at their Valley 360 Resource Center. 
Help is available in signing students up for CalFresh, which offers additional supplements for those who qualify. “Some of our students when they have families, with $204 a month they’ll make it stretch. Every dollar counts,” he said.

The www.calfresh.org website says students can receive CalFresh if they work at least 20 hours a week, or approved for state or federal work-study money and anticipate working during the term. Or, are a full-time student with a child under age 12.

Registered Valley College students can also use their ID as an Omnitrans bus pass to get to campus. Students can stop by the center for prepackaged bags of dry and frozen foods, including cereals, frozen vegetables and frozen pizza. The pantry is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Carlos knows there is a high population of housing insecure students, but it’s hard to tell how many are homeless. “They live in their vehicles, We have students who couch surf, stay at friend’s places, we take that into consideration,” he said, adding that the campus has made food access a priority at this time. “When we closed campus because of COVID, our administration said we really need to keep the pantry open, that it’s a necessity for our students and we need to keep the campus open no matter what,” he said. 
 
For more information see:

SBVC:  https://www.valleycollege.edu/current-students/student-life/

To access food, and a long list of other off-campus resources, see 
https://www.valleycollege.edu/student-services/specialized-counseling-services/occupational-advancement/campus-resources.php