If thoughts like, “I have to stop eating out,” “I don’t eat the right foods,” and “I spend too much money on food” ever cross your mind, then you’re likely not alone.
Student Health and Wellness at The WELL is helping students at Sacramento State tackle these insecurities by assisting them with signing up for CalFresh, a program formerly known as “food stamps.”
Danielle Munoz, a case manager, said she hopes to destigmatize the idea of food insecurity.
“A lot of students would share with me in case management that they felt embarrassed,” said Munoz. “They felt other people’s problems were bigger than theirs so they wait and wait (to apply).”
Munoz said more students struggle with hunger than most realize.
“Twenty-four percent of our students are reporting that they are hungry and that means that they may not have money to eat,” Munoz said.
The CalFresh program has always been available to students, but it wasn’t until the Center for Healthy Communities at Chico State obtained a grant and looped in the additional 11 CSUs that the program began to expand on college campuses.
Jennifer Campbell, a registered dietitian at Sac State, said anyone that qualifies for CalFresh will receive assistance based on their need. She also added that the federally funded program benefits the community surrounding the university.
“For every dollar of CalFresh money spent, it’s (around) $1.79 back to our local economy,” Campbell said.
Campbell also works with students to save money while shopping for groceries.
“(We have) a conversation on how to help get assistance, resources for food and tips for budget shopping and meal preparation,” she said.
Virgil Rambeau, a student affairs case manager intern, and Munoz said they both are willing to help and guide students with any insecurity of the application process.
“The requirements are quite complex but we are here to help them with the confusion because a lot of students don’t know if they qualify,” Rambeau said.
The CalFresh program just initiated in January and any students who are interested can go to drop-in assistance on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or call to make appointment.
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