Committed to helping students meet their basic needs and keeping them on the path toward graduation, Cal State Fullerton invites the community to join in giving to its Student Assistance Fund for Emergencies (SAFE).
The campaign aligns with Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, a global day of giving to kick off the charitable giving season. All donations to SAFE will be matched up to $10,000 by campus partners CSUF Auxiliary Services Corp., Housing and Residential Engagement, Aramark, Alumni Association and Philanthropic Foundation.
SAFE provides emergency support for students experiencing food, housing and transportation insecurities by offering meal plan assistance; temporary housing assistance; and emergency funds for unforeseen hardships such as medical bills, loss of work hours or scholarship/financial aid delays.
According to a 2018 comprehensive study of student basic needs conducted across the California State University system, 41.6 percent of students reported food insecurity and 10.9 percent of students reported experiencing homelessness one or more times in the last year.
“National prevalence rates for food insecurity for all U.S. households is 12.3 percent (U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2017), making the case for college students as an emerging population with a higher risk for food insecurity,” the report notes. “The areas around some of the CSUs in more rural locations (Humboldt State University, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Monterey Bay) showed higher levels of food insecurity while urban cities showed a complex mosaic of small areas of security next to areas of insecurity.”
Previously, the CSU released a 2016 snapshot study of student basic needs, which estimated displaced students at 8.7 percent and food-insecure students at 21 percent.
Earlier this year, CSUF launched Tuffy’s Basic Needs Services Center, a critical access point on campus for students in need to find a collection of support services.
“Students can’t succeed if they come to class hungry, if they spent the night sleeping in their car, if they don’t know how they’re going to pay for their tuition or if they’re suffering from a medical crisis,” said President Fram Virjee at the center’s grand opening in February. “The center is an opportunity for us to help those students who are most at-risk find a path forward.”
Other related campus programs include Tuffy’s Career Closet, which provides gently used professional attire for interviews, internships and jobs; the Titan Bites messaging app, which helps students locate free food from on-campus establishments; and a student-driven donated meals program.
For more information, or to donate to Cal State Fullerton’s efforts to fight hunger and homelessness, visit the SAFE website.