On Friday, April 19, we celebrated the San Jose State University’s (SJSU) Spartan Food Pantry with our partner ServiceNow.
SJSU alumni like Matt and Lauren have shown how students might work 40 hours a week to cover expensive rent on top of tuition and books. ServiceNow, Second Harvest and SJSU believe that students shouldn’t worry about finding their next meal.
After volunteers restocked the pantry, former 49er and Super Bowl champion Dennis Brown recalled how food assistance helped his father earn a college degree. Even while their family struggled with homelessness, his father was able to complete years of education and eventually become a college professor. Then, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo described how hard it is to graduate from college in the expensive Bay Area today. SJSU’s most recent Student Affairs survey found that approximately half of their students were sometimes skipping meals due to their cost.
SJSU President Dr. Mary Papazian praised the partnerships that led to the pantry’s opening. Over the last decade, the Student Hunger Committee started programs including free food shelves and a community garden. In 2016, the SJSU Event Center hosted its first monthly food distribution in partnership with Second Harvest. Now, the event helps 500 students receive fresh groceries each month.
Seeing this level of need, the Student Hunger Committee started planning a permanent food pantry. Today, with the help of resources from Second Harvest and the generous support of ServiceNow, the pantry has already served over 350 students.
We’re excited to announce a $1.5 million commitment from ServiceNow. They will support our food pantries at nine colleges in Santa Clara County. Many thanks to all who have helped us provide students with fresh produce, proteins like whole chickens and pantry essentials. We want every student to have the nutritious food they need to thrive.