SG Documents

Bakersfield College/Bakersfield (BC) - SGA Food Pantry


| Thursday, Jan 28 2010 02:10 PM

Last Updated Thursday, Jan 28 2010 02:10 PM


* Distribution dates: Feb. 11 and 25, March 11 and 25, April 7 and 22, May 6 (all dates: 8 a.m. to noon and 4 to 6 p.m.)

* To sign up, go to the student activities office (all requests must be submitted at least one day before distribution day)

* More information: 395-4030,,

* To donate money or food, call 395-4355 or drop off non-perishable items at the student affairs office.


bc_pantry.JPG Bakersfield College student Domingo Eskandar looks over the newly opened Bakersfield College Renegade Pantry. The pantry was opened to help students in need during the hard economic time. Eskandar, a single father of 3 children, is in the culinary arts program at B.C. and is self-employed as a pastry chef. bc_pantry2.JPG A display in the Bakersfield College Renegade Pantry shows items that are needed for the pantry. Needy students will be able to pickup food bags to help them out during the hard economic times.

Domingo Eskandor, a culinary arts student at Bakersfield College, is a single father of three.

It's tough to concentrate on tests in class sometimes, he said, when he has to think about providing for his 7-, 6- and 4-year-olds -- in addition to his own well-being.

"I've had to choose between books and food for my family," Eskandor said. "Children come first."

The Renegade Pantry, a new student-based food bank, opened Thursday on campus and will provide food to BC students and their families in need -- like Eskandor's.

"I think it's going to help a lot of people," he said.

The pantry is a campus Student Government Association project started about a month ago. The idea sprang up from a national student government conference, and BC government students ran with it.

"We saw a growing need among students on campus," said Chris Ballard, vice president of the Student Government Association. "We thought it was a good idea."

Bakersfield College is seeing record enrollment due in part to the sour economy, officials said. Budget woes have brought higher fees and larger classes, and administrators anticipate more possible cutbacks in the near future.

Some BC students have lost jobs and homes and are struggling to provide basic necessities for their families, said pantry coordinator Shawn Newsom.

"It's the students who ultimately face the brunt of these cutbacks," Newsom said.

The pantry, stationed in the campus center in what before was a storage area, provides sacks of non-perishable food to students with up to a family of five. Students need only show they're a BC student.

Its slogan: "Eliminating hunger one student at a time."

It will cost student government about $2,000 per month to sustain. About 1,500 reusable sacks are being handed out to college faculty and staff who want to donate food. Student government is also looking for corporate sponsors.

Because the pantry is a nonprofit, donations are tax-deductible.

Canned food, pasta and oatmeal line the pantry shelves. Within two hours of pantry advertisements being posted, 32 students signed up to receive food, officials said.

BC President Greg Chamberlain said he's "thrilled" about the student-run pantry.

"If this helps one person stay in school, it's worth it," said Chamberlain, who dropped off two sacks of food Thursday.

Eskandor said the pantry will allow him, for example, to spend $50 he would use for food to buy his kids socks and shoes instead.

At the same time, it'll help him concentrate in class, and achieve his goal of transferring to San Diego State to double major in business and culinary arts.

"The way I see, this is not a handout, it's a hand up," Eskandor said.