Long Beach Rotary has provided educational scholarships for students at Long Beach City College (LBCC) and California State University at Long Beach (CSULB) for many years. We know the transition from college student to successful adult is sometimes challenging. The goal to earn a degree, find a good job, and contribute further is only a few years away, but unfortunately, we've recently learned that for many there is a serious roadblock to a successful future - recurring hunger. At CSULB alone 1 in 10 of the 37,776 enrolled students is likely to experience homelessness while on their way to a better life. Initial findings indicate that an estimated 21% to 24% are also food insecure. While many receive financial aid, it is often inadequate to pay for all of the student's tuition, housing, books, and food. Many students work several jobs and take high course loads while skipping meals. It is hard to concentrate on your studies when you are hungry. "Studies get put on the back burner."
This project will help these dedicated students keep their education on track by providing individual students in need with a Grab & Go Bag full of healthy, non-perishable foods that will include breakfast, lunch and dinner for the day. Rotarians and their families, Interactors, Rotaractors, and alumni from Camp Enterprise will gather on a Saturday to package 1,500 bags of food (4,500 meals) in a fun, assembly-line fashion. The Grab & Go Bags will be distributed to the three campus Food Pantries/Basic Needs Resource Centers (two at LBCC and one at CSULB) to be made available to students throughout the school year.
Project funds will be used in Fall 2019 to purchase food for the Grab & Go Bags and the actual bags and to provide lunches for the volunteers.