Daily 49er

Feed a Need aids food insecure students at CSULB

Residential campus members can donate meals for other food insecure students until Saturday Feb. 3.

Housing+Executive+Director+Corry+Colonna+and+Hillside+Dining+Hall+Manager+Manuel+Gil+show+excitement+over+students+signing+up+to+take+part+in+the+Feed+a+Need+aid+program+1%2F31.
Housing Executive Director Corry Colonna and Hillside Dining Hall Manager Manuel Gil show excitement over students signing up to take part in the Feed a Need aid program 1/31.

Housing Executive Director Corry Colonna and Hillside Dining Hall Manager Manuel Gil show excitement over students signing up to take part in the Feed a Need aid program 1/31.

Diego Gómez | Daily 49er

Diego Gómez | Daily 49er

Housing Executive Director Corry Colonna and Hillside Dining Hall Manager Manuel Gil show excitement over students signing up to take part in the Feed a Need aid program 1/31.

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Four months ago, homeless graduate student Imani Moses slept in her small sedan off-campus — she is one of the many students who knows what it’s like to go to sleep on an empty stomach.

“It is hard,” Moses said. “Food is expensive, not easily accessible and nothing is cheap.”

To combat this, Cal State Long Beach residents living on campus can donate one of their meals to go toward a student in need.

Feed a Need is an aid program that offers students with meal plans the chance to donate one meal to food insecure students. According to the Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program, the group provides several healthy and well-balanced meals for them in Parkside, Hillside and Beachside dining halls. Additionally, the Forty-Niner Shops matches the first 300 meals donated to the effort.

“Feed a Need has helped me out a lot,” Moses said. “I am so happy I have the option to wake up in the morning and go eat an omelet.”

Moses said she encourages students facing difficult times to not give up hope.

“They have to be strong,” Moses said. “There is a lot of light [at the end of] the tunnel, just take it day by day.”

Jeff Klaus, associate vice president for student life and development of student affairs, said the university’s support programs for students in need is on its way to becoming one of the best in the country.

“We are a model for the entire CSU [system],” Klaus said. “I think this is an amazing program. Considering we just started about three years ago…we will be the model to follow in the U.S.”

Moses said she feels blessed to attend the university.

“School is my safe haven,” Moses said. “I have everything here that I need. I don’t miss out on anything coming to Cal State Long Beach. If anything, it is giving me more of a reason to stay. It is home.”

According to Kelsey Crane, assistant director of annual giving, the university is creating a sense of students caring and nourishing other students with Feed a Need. The Student Emergency Intervention Program along with the Beach Fund Department both work together to make the everything happen.

“We are looking for ways of students to give back to other students,” Crane said. “There was a need [and] there was nothing out there before to help our students who are facing difficult situations. This is a great opportunity to extend philanthropy throughout our campus.”

Feed a Need began Spring 2015 with 1,353 meals donated just by students with a total of 1,653 after the Forty-Niner Shop’s contribution. Last semester, there were 1,146 meals donated by students with a total of 1,446. According to ID Card Services, a total of 545 meals have been donated since Tuesday.

This semester´s “Feed a Need” began on Sunday Jan. 26 and will end on Saturday Feb. 3.

Any student who walks inside any of the three dining halls can participate and donate one of their meals from their respective meal plan. Students that do not have a meal plan can help students through the Tapingo App and choose the “Student Emergency” option to donate.

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