Financial Aid Awareness Month

According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a student is considered homeless if he or she does not have regular, fixed, or even adequate housing. This is inclusive of students who live in parks, motels, cars, shelters, and others who live with other people on a temporary basis since they do not have anywhere else to go. Almost every part of the world contains students who are homeless, but many studies find that California is one of the leading states in the world where homelessness has become a major concern. In an effort to minimize the level of educational and financial unattainability, the Community College League of California has released a new report offering California Community Colleges recommendations for reducing institutional and procedural barriers that prevent students from receiving their maximum financial aid, while also improving the disbursement of financial aid awards in a timely manner.

Going Hungry, Addressing Student Food Insecurity on Campus

We don’t have to look far to see the impact of food insecurity on college campuses. Recent reports show that 48 percent of community college students are food insecure. At Cerritos College, 25 percent of students qualify for the state’s EBT/CalFresh program. The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to purchase most foods at many markets and restaurants. As such, students are facing an unspeakable dilemma – having to choose between paying for living expenses or purchasing a meal.

Cabrillo College’s Fresh Market offers nutrition and food security for academic success

It is a sunny Thursday morning in Aptos, California, and a large truck from Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz drives onto the campus of Cabrillo College. Boxes of fresh produce – carrots, watermelons, potatoes, lettuce, corn, and tomatoes – are unloaded by student volunteers and brought into the upper quad. A sandwich board sign with large letters announcing “Free Produce” at the “Cabrillo Fresh Market” is strategically placed in the middle of the main thoroughfare, hoping to attract the attention of passers-by on their way to and from class. Anyone within the Cabrillo community is welcome.

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