Chico cares campaign

cans Photo credit: creative commons

cans Photo credit: creative commons

The Chico Cares Campaign is working to make life easier for students who cannot afford nutritious food or are having housing difficulties.

The campaign aims to raise money for various student support programs focused on these issues, such as the Wildcat Food Pantry, according to Sean Murphy, the public affairs coordinator at Chico State.

When asked about those helping to gather funds for the campaign, Murphy said “Currently, we have a small number of teams and individual volunteers who, along with some of their friends and family, head out to gather the donations.”

“We also have a website where we accept donations directly, and where volunteers can sign up to join the campaign” Murphy said.

The goal for the campaign is to collect $50,000 which could fund emergency housing and support the Wildcat Food Pantry. The Wildcat Food Pantry is expected to care for 4,000 students this year, as stated by a news release from Chico State regarding the Chico Cares Campaign.

The campaign hopes to gather this money by Nov. 28 of this year.

According to Murphy, Chico State is not the only campus focusing on these problems, “The Chico Cares Campaign is part of the Basic Needs Initiative, which is a large-scale version of Chico Cares, covering all CSU campuses.”

The focus on these issues started last year, when several CSU campuses across the state began researching food insecurity, which included a survey by Chico State.

The survey found that out of the 707 Chico State students surveyed, 43 percent of those students declared that their food security was low or very low.

The survey also discovered startling statistics about the disconnect between students and CalFresh, the government program meant to ensure that all U.S. citizens can afford nutritious food.

47 percent of those surveyed were eligible for CalFresh, but only 12 percent were enrolled in the program. Not only that, but many students who were eligible had either heard of CalFresh but never thought to enroll, or had never heard of CalFresh at all.

That is not the only reason Chico State is concerned. The data collected during the survey suggests that there is a connection between GPA scores and food insecurity.

According to the survey, there was a higher percentage of students with GPA scores between 1.51 and 2.0 in the group that declared their food security as very low.

These problems, along with others mentioned in the survey, are what Chico Cares and the Basic Needs Initiative as a whole are working to correct.

Andrew Freeman can be reached at [email protected] or at @Andrew_LFreeman on Twitter