At the ASI Board of Directors meeting on March 3, 2021, the Board of Directors approved the Campus Health and Wellbeing Food Pantry program. The financial support provides $35,000 each year for the next three years. In fall 2020, the ASI Board of Directors began to reevaluate ASI’s funding priorities with a goal to provide increased financial support to marginalized students through diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. As a result of this evaluation, the Cal Poly Food Pantry was identified as an avenue to directly support Cal Poly students and make a positive impact on the mission of Campus Health and Wellbeing.
With ASI’s financial support, the Cal Poly Food Pantry is planning to hire student staff, purchase outreach and promotional items, and have steady funding for food purchases. Hiring staff will help the Food Pantry remain open and allow for operational hours to be expanded. Outreach and promotional items such as reusable totes and can openers have been identified by students who have used the Food Pantry as functional items they needed, however were previously unavailable. Students believe that in addition to being functional, these items will also serve as a method to break the stigma around using the Food Pantry. Lastly, the funding commitment will also provide a steady and reliable means to keeping the Food Pantry well stocked. In the past, the Food Pantry relied primarily on community donations for food and financial support. With support from ASI, it will now have reliable funding to ensure that supplies are always replenished.
Member of the ASI Board of Directors, Alexander Ameri, strongly supports this contribution stating that “the funding for the Food Pantry will ensure that an essential service will always have its doors open to students. This is an important and intentional shift to support and provide an equitable education for all students regardless of their privileges or disadvantages.”
The ASI Board of Directors hope to better support students in need and make a lasting impact on campus through contributing financial support to the program over the next three years. ASI strives to support those who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized on our campus and hopes to ensure better advocacy and support through this financial commitment.
Photo courtesy of Cal Poly/Joe Johnston