ON September 5, 2019, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) joined students and administrators from Los Angeles City College District (LACCD), Los Angeles City College (LACC), Pasadena City College (PCC), and Glendale Community College (GCC) for a roundtable discussion on food insecurity on community college campuses. In August, Schiff introduced the Food for Thought Act to address this widespread issue by creating a pilot grant program for community colleges to provide free meals to students in need.
“When students are worried where their next meal will come from – or if there will be a next meal at all – their ability to learn and attend class suffers. And when talented students are forced to delay their studies or drop out because of food insecurity, it’s a loss for our entire community,” said Rep. Schiff. “No student should have to choose between pursuing an education and putting food on the table. If we don’t address hunger on community college campuses, we are failing the students who need a quality education and the opportunity it provides.”
At the roundtable, student panelists described how struggling with food insecurity affected their educational outcomes and future successes. Surveys show that nearly half of California’s 2.1 million community college students experienced food insecurity in the past year. Over 40% of community college students in California reported skipping meals because they could not afford to eat. Schiff’s bill to address food insecurity on community college campuses has received overwhelming support from California community colleges and national organizations dedicated to ending student hunger.
“Thank you Congressman Adam Schiff for introducing the Food for Thought Act and for your leadership in addressing college student food and housing insecurities. No student in this country should go hungry or homeless while they are dedicated to improving their lives by completing their higher educational goals,” said Andra Hoffman, President, LACCD Board
of Trustees. “The Los Angeles Community College District, our Board, the Chancellor and our College Presidents are committed to working with you to assist in the passage of this important bill.”
“The Los Angeles City College Foundation is acutely aware of the role that proper nutrition plays in student success, and, through our food pantry and midterm and finals meals programs, will continue to take the lead to address this vital aspect of creating positive outcomes for the students of LACC,” said Robert Schwartz, Executive Director, Los Angeles City College Foundation.
We are all thankful for Congressman Schiff’s leadership on this issue, and I speak not only for myself but for the countless students and families that turn to Pasadena City College when they can’t put food on their table. Each week, PCC distributes more than 3,000 pounds of healthy, nutritious food through our Lancer Pantry, and that doesn’t even come close to meeting demand,” said Dr. Erika Endrijonas, Superintendent and President, Pasadena City College. “This bill makes more resources available, it helps us share information and learn from each other, and it invites our colleges into an era where we are nurturing every part of our students, not just their minds.”
“Glendale Community College’s food pantry is now in its fourth year. The more we discuss food insecurity on our campus, the more we learn how many students are affected,” said Dr. David Viar, President, Glendale Community College. “Congressman Schiff’s proposal would help many people in need while reminding many more that we have a serious issue in our community.”