Basic needs security. 2 yrs ago, that wasn’t a familiar term on campus.
Instead, food secureness was the focus, and a model toolkit for learners unveiled at Berkeley in 2015 included a foodstuff pantry, financial help, a food secureness website and tips about nourishment and cooking for $5 a day.
But by 2016, hungry learners were speaking out about more than skipping meals. They also lacked affordable housing and financial stability. As a result, other needs were suffering – their mental, psychological and physical wellness, and their academic success.
This week, for the first time, not only Berkeley but the whole UC system is observing gross annual National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, Nov. 12-17, making a affirmation that all students’ basic necessities need focus and asking the public to greatly help support the forward-thinking work it has underway.
“Students with all the current potential to reach your goals at Berkeley are actually struggling and even dropping out, not because of their intellectual capabilities, but because their basic wants aren’t being looked after. They are also overwhelmed. And it’s receiving worse as the Bay Region cost of living increases,” says Ruben E. Canedo, chair of the UC Berkeley Primary Needs Committee.
“University campuses can’t resolve hunger and homelessness; these are larger systemic problems in our country, throughout the market,” he offers. “But we must help set the tone to handle them, to generate recognition with boldness and development.”
The week kicked off Sunday with a CalFresh megaclinic in Pauley Ballroom, where almost 200 students got assistance registering for a federally funded nutrition program that issues a free debit card for groceries to those that qualify.
A $2 million fundraising campaign for college student health and fitness tops the comprehensive list of activities planned this week at Berkeley:
MONDAY, NOV. 13
Primary Needs Security case competition
Teams of students might be given four days to come up with solutions to complications facing the campus found in its quest to greatly help students struggling with hunger and the cost of housing.
Campus Gardens Tour, 3-5 p.m.
Each is welcome to take a guided tour of some campus gardens. Match at the Student Organic Yard, at the northwest end of the Oxford Tract and the intersection of Oxford and Hearst roads.
TUESDAY, NOV. 14
Mental health workshops, Stiles Hall.
Noon-1 p.m. Faculty, staff and administrators will be invited to learn how to support college student mental wellness and react to students in crisis.
“The lack of ongoing food or secure housing often has correlations to mental health,” says Tova Feldmanstern, staff and social worker from the campus’s Counseling and Psychological Companies, who will lead the workshops.
“What we can do as faculty and staff is help learners recognize the symptoms of mental distress. And we have to educate ourselves about what learners will be facing and what methods are below on campus. For example, where may be the food pantry? What exactly are the hours? What food does it offer?”
4-6 p.m. College students will hear a panel of their peers share personal experience with mental health and basic wants insecurity. They also will find out about mental health methods on campus.
FAFSA/California Dream Take action Application Workshop, Open Pc Facility (OCF) lab, 6-8 p.m.
Students can do the job on their applications and get queries answered by SCHOOL FUNDING Office staff. All attendees need an OCF bill to log into the computers.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15
Addressing Foodstuff Insecurity and Basic Requirements Among UC College students: What Can Berkeley Do? Academic Invention Studio, 117 Dwinelle, 6-7:30 p.m.
Leaders from the UC Berkeley Primary Requirements Committee and the UC Nourishment Policy Institute will share with campus instructors and faculty the latest data and ways of support school students’ basic wants. Register here.
Basic Needs Security Professionals Panel, 145 Dwinelle Hall, 7-9 p.m.
Speakers from U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee’s workplace, the Berkeley Foodstuff Institute and the ASUC will speak about their work and the way the campus community can struggle foodstuff insecurity and homelessness.
TUESDAY-THURSDAY, NOV. 14-16
Cal Dining Weigh Your Waste event, 5-8 p.m., Café 3 and Crossroads dining halls (11/14), Clark Kerr and Foothills dining halls (11/15), and the Tidy Plate Advertising, Crossroads (11/16), 5-8 p.m.
Activities for students will include a hands-on how-to on sorting foodstuff waste and a advertising to complete all the foodstuff on their plates. Students will receive a prize for taking a tidy plate to the dish go back.
FRIDAY, NOV. 17
Community Dinner, 5-7 p.m., Anna Mind Alumnae Hall
All who made the week’s events possible might dine collectively and learn the benefits of the fundraiser, the CalFresh megaclinic and the case competition.
Fundraiser critical to keep up with need
The week’s $2 million fundraising target, says Canedo, reflects “a need in our campus network that we’re unable to fulfill because of too little resources – not merely money, but facilities and folks. We have to support all three of those.
“We’ve drastically outgrown our establishments in Berkeley,” he explains. “Our pantry has had more than 2,200 visits every month for the last 8 weeks. And our CalFresh clinics are growing to point where we’ve utilized Pauley Ballroom for the most significant clinic to date – 184 students, 10 college student volunteers and 30 members of community organizations attended this past Sunday.”
While Berkeley reaches “an all-period high” in its work to do outreach to learners in need and to teach faculty and staff to recognize their distress, “we need additional student and staff positions because the work isn’t going to get scaled unless we’ve team members to do the task,” says Canedo. “And we need funding for the methods we’re providing to learners, like food, development and emergency funds.”
Across the UC system, 48 percent of undergraduates and twenty five percent of graduate learners reported in a 2015 Nutrition Policy Institute survey that they are food insecure, meaning they can’t access enough food due to too little money and other methods.
An estimated 9,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate learners at Berkeley meet the criteria for CalFresh and will potentially qualify for a free debit cards for groceries.
As food/basic wants co-chair of UC President Janet Napolitano’s Global Foodstuff Initiative, Canedo is co-producing a written report on the essential needs of UC learners systemwide and recently launched Berkeley’s new comprehensive Primary Needs Security webpage, a model repository of college student resources.
“Basic needs security is normally a term every our UC campuses have already been using for a year and a half right now,” says Canedo. “It’s caught on, and today it’s being used across the country. Our students are talking about it with local, status and federal government leaders. It’s a big challenge in our community that people just can’t neglect.”