Just in Time (Mobile Food Pantry) will have a new permanent space at San Jose State University, promising to cut down student hunger. The announcement of a permanent food pantry was made by the SJSU Newsroom the second week of September.
The new place has a permanent spot at the Diaz Compean Student Union, according to the SJSU Newsroom. Though it does not have an opening day yet, it is expected to be accessible to students this semester. It will work just like any other grocery store, but with zero cost for students and more nutritional options, said Student Affairs Case Manager, Marko Mohlenhoff.
The site published that the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties would be a recipient of the 2018 Community Partner Award in recognition of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Second Harvest has provided in groceries to Spartans. Now after years of work, a permanent pantry will finally be established.
Mohlenhoff explained that the food pantry will be located next to Panda Express with an entrance in front of the engineering building. The pantry will have multiple levels of working staff coordinating the services and CalFresh will also be available for students inside of the pantry.
CalFresh is the California implementation of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which aims to help people who experience budget restraints by providing financial assistance to purchase food.
The SJSU food pantry is expected to help decrease student hunger on campus.
Junior BFA Interior Design student Daisy Ma said she started using the food pantry her second year when she had a kitchen to cook. “It’s convenient and saves students time and money by going grocery shopping,” she said.
The new place is expected to be open for approximately 20 hours a week and operate five days a week, aligning to student’s schedules.
“If I didn’t have time to pack lunch or didn’t have money, I would just pass by to one of the food pantries and get a soup or some mac and cheese,” Spanish junior Veronika Martinez said. She shared that her freshman year she relied on the food pantry for her three main meals because she spent all day on campus due to classes and extracurricular activities.
According to the Just in the Time website, the two main requirements to qualify for the pantry are SJSU enrollment and an annual income of $24,280 or below.
In order for students to be able to obtain food, they need to go through a digital check-in process at the beginning of the semester which will subsequently allow them to use their tower cards to get food from the food pantry, explained Mohlenhoff.
The Student Hunger Committee has been operating on campus by students, faculty, and staff to end food insecurity.
“They have been working toward bringing attention and support to student hunger. They have collected all the necessary data to clearly demonstrate the picture of need that exists among our students,” Mohlenhoff said.
Ma said she would like to see SJSU provide more than just food to students. “At other schools, they also have reuse-depots where students can donate and take things they need like clothes, household items, and supplies,” she said.