Many Fresno State students struggle to afford food at some point during their college experience while also juggling the cost of books, tuition, and other living expenses.

The university’s student cupboard was created to address this all-too-common food security need, said Mary Castro, .

“If you are hungry, you can’t concentrate, and you can’t do your optimum work.” — Fresno State first lady Mary Castro

Over 6,000 Visits in a Month

With more than 40 percent of students lacking access to nutritious meals, Castro said the cupboard is definitely needed. During the current year, the cupboard saw as many as 6,300 student visits in a single month.

Finding ways to combat that issue was critical because “if you are hungry, you can’t concentrate, and you can’t do your optimum work,” Castro said.

Hygiene Products Also Available

In addition to free grocery items, the cupboard provides hygiene products for students.

“I knew that if students were cutting back on their food, they are cutting back on hygiene items, and if they didn’t feel confident with the way they looked or smelled, they might miss a class,” Castro said. “That starts a cycle that we don’t want them to go down.”

Watch the 12 Days of Giving video above by GV Wire’s Jahz Tello to find out more about the Fresno State Student Cupboard.

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