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Madera Community College Center students who need a little help getting groceries on the table can avoid hunger pangs by checking out the new Lions Den Food Pantry.

Nancy Price

School Zone

The pantry, which is available to all 4,500 students enrolled this semester (and any future enrolled students), is in the R1B building next to the Learning Center. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, but the hours could change later, spokesman George Takata said.

Students who need access to the food pantry outside of operating hours can be accommodated, he said.

A student checks out groceries at the Madera Community College Center food pantry. (Madera Community College Center)

Takata said the Lions Den Food Pantry is funded from a variety of sources: $18,000 from the state Legislature and partnerships with the Associated Student Government, Madera County Food Bank, and Madera Master Gardeners.

It’s the fourth food pantry on a State Center Community College District campus. The other three are at Fresno City College, Reedley College, and Clovis Community College.

If You’re Heading to College, Read This

Need money to go to college? You might be eligible for student aid, but you won’t know if you don’t apply.

The Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools is partnering with Univision to help students fill out applications for federal aid at nine Central Valley locations on Saturday, Feb. 1.

The 10th annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations: Fresno State, Kremen School of Education; Fresno City College, library; West Hills College, Coalinga; West Hills College, North District Center Firebaugh; West Hills College, Lemoore; College of the Sequoias, Visalia; Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Access Center in Bakersfield; Porterville Community College; and University of California, Merced.

Prospective and current college students need to fill out a FAFSA application to determine whether they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. Bilingual staff is available at all locations to help families complete financial aid forms, including FAFSA and the California Dream Act application.

What You Need to Bring

Students must bring a Social Security card (if applicable); driver’s license (if applicable); parents’ 2018 federal income tax return (if student is a dependent); and FSA ID log-in if they have already registered for the 2020-21 school year.

More than 500 families participated in the FAFSA event in November 2019.

The Fresno State location also will host information booths with more than 100 volunteers to help students and families with financial planning and scholarships.

Need more information? Call 559-497-3862.

Fresno State Math Chairman Honored

Photo of Rajee Amarasinghe

Rajee Amarasinghe

Professor Rajee Amarasinghe, chairman of the Department of Mathematics at Fresno State, was named one of five recipients of the California State University Wang Family Excellence Award.

Amarasinghe, the founder and director of Fresno State’s Summer Academy in STEM, was recognized at Tuesday’s CSU trustees meeting.

His award is for Outstanding Faculty Innovator in Student Success. His area of expertise includes using technology in mathematics teaching and learning, and using interdisciplinary tools to teach math.

Amarasinghe, formerly an officer in the Sri Lankan Navy, has procured more than $15 million in grant funding since his arrival at Fresno State in 2000.

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