Students fights through food insecurity thanks to CalFresh at U.C. Berkeley


ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) — Scholar battle by means of meals insecurity at UC Berkeley Because the state loosened it’s tips for school students to be eligible for the CalFresh program, the Alameda County Group Meals Bank says it is seeing a pointy improve in students making use of totally free meals.

At U.C. Berkeley, food insecurity is an actual drawback.

Tania Perez is getting into her junior yr at Cal and simply moved off-campus for the first time.

She was food safe her first two years in the dorms but as she applies for jobs, it’s robust not to notice an alarming development.

Students selecting between books and meals, tuition or a roof over their head.

Fortuitously for Perez, the state’s food assistance program referred to as CalFresh has relaxed eligibility necessities for college kids prior to now two years.

CalFresh is federally-mandated and state-supervised.

The Alameda County Group Meals Bank units up store at the Primary Wants Middle within the basement of Cal’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Union constructing every Friday when class is in session.

Outreach coordinators like Crystina Esparza signal individuals up for the program.

Acceptance is predicated on household measurement, revenue and expenses.

“They will rise up to $192 for month for food and those may even double if they use them at farmers markets,” Esparza explains.

Esparza says the cost of a meal in the Bay Space is 25 % greater than the national common.

Because the meals financial institution started making stops at Cal and different school campuses.

It’s helped more than 1,600 students efficiently sign up for CalFresh.

“We began helping seven students here on campus once we first began in 2015,” Esparza says. “Now, we’re helping a mean of ninety students a month apply for this system. So, that’s a huge improve.”

The food bank additionally has a food pantry the place every thing is all the time free obtainable to all the scholar physique close to the Primary Needs Middle. 

Perez tells KRON4 this system has taken an enormous burden off of her.

“I don’t have to assume, oh, like what am I gonna eat? The place am I gonna get my meals from?” Perez stated.

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