CSUN Food Pantry Takes Next Big Step

  • Christel Bowen stands in front of the CSUN Food Pantry's new location.

    Christel Bowen, a student assistant for the Food Pantry, stands in front of its new location in Laurel Hall. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

  • CSUN Food Pantry employees hold tote bags filled with groceries.

    CSUN Food Pantry employees hold tote bags filled with groceries ready to be given to CSUN students, faculty and staff in need. Photo by David J. Hawkins

In late January, the California State University, Northridge Food Pantry moved to a new, expanded home in Laurel Hall — next to Sagebrush Hall, across from campus parking lots D6 and E6.

The CSUN Food Pantry helps students, faculty and staff in need of emergency food assistance and basic necessities, at no cost to the CSUN population. Once per week, clients may visit the pantry to receive a week’s worth of food. Toiletries are also available upon request. The pantry is open on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. No proof of need is required. Individuals must bring proof of CSUN affiliation such as a CSUN ID card.

A study performed in 2015 by CSULB showed that, “Staff, faculty, and administrators estimated displaced students at 8.7 percent and food insecure students at 21 percent; however, preliminary student survey results from one school showed a higher population (12 percent and 24 percent).”

“Food insecurity has an impact on students’ study performance,” said Yvonne Nibo, an intern in the CSUN Master of Social Work program who works at the Food Pantry. “We hope to get more ways to help the students.”

“Our previous location was never supposed to be permanent,” added Christel Bowen, a student assistant at the Food Pantry, which formerly was located behind the Matador Bookstore. “With this new location, we have greater space for food and toiletries.”

At the pantry, individuals can also receive CalFresh application assistance. CalFresh, a federally funded program that helps low-income individuals and families buy food, aims to incorporate nutritious food such as fruits and vegetables into tight budgets.

Bowen said her job goes beyond providing groceries for food-insecure individuals. It also entails connecting with clients.

“We see a lot of the same faces, and we continually try to build relationships with the students,” she said. “Our goal is to create an inviting and comfortable environment for our visitors. With this we hope to chip away at the stigma associated with asking for help. We are here to provide a needed resource to our campus community.”
​Much of the Food Pantry’s support comes from monetary and food donations. ​To make a donation of dry/can goods or toiletries, please visit the following locations. For monetary donations contact the CSUN Food Pantry at 818-677-2730.
  • CSUN Food Pantry: Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m., and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Matador Involvement Center: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Student Development office: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the Food Pantry and CalFresh, please visit http://www.csun.edu/mic/csun-food-pantry. Or feel free to call (818) 677-2730 or email: csunfoodpantry@csun.edu. Connect on social media @csunfoodpantry

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