Courtesy of Gavilan College:
Who wouldn’t want the chance to win a $100 gift card?
Last fall, CalWORKs partnered with Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness to gain a window into student needs. Part time student data was gathered In October. Full time student participation is encouraged for the current survey.
Students find surveys annoying. They want to know why they are being asked when there are research articles.
“Gavilan is asking because data is old, incomplete and not representative of our community,” said Annette Gutierrez, Director of CalWORKS and CalFresh programs on campus. “We need to learn about students in our district.” Student profiles today looks different than in past decades: older, with families, one or more jobs.
Students who take the time to complete the survey are entered into a drawing for several gift cards.
The Gavilan Pantry opened in May 2016 with canned food and staples such as peanut butter, beans and pasta. Since then the food offered shifted based on student input.
“The Pantry’s funding has increased fourfold since the first year,” said Gutierrez. Gavilan’s food pantry is much more extensive than area community colleges. “Our goal is a hungry-free campus.”
Gavilan Pantry offers student snacks, Fresh Produce Tuesdays, a grocery bag of staples weekly. Last fall the college began offering Just In Time Mobile Food Pantry the third Thursday of each month, open to anyone in the district.
Gavilan works in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The food offered at the college is based on available stock from SHFB donations.
“The survey results will provide insights into potential program expansion,” said Gutierrez. Do students need other services, such as clothing? Does the program need more space to offer services?
Students who work at the Gavilan Pantry are CalWORKs students themselves. They receive on campus job placement, book vouchers, meal cards and school supplies.
Jennifer Berberian said working in the Pantry was her first choice. She is majoring in Behavioral/Social Sciences with a career plan to earn her MSW at CSUMB.
“We see some people every day, they come to get a snack,” she said. The Pantry is the place where students, who might not have empty shelves at home, know they can get food every day.
“Don’t be afraid to come say hi, get a snack,” Berberian said. “We’re here for you.”And, a reminder for students who have not yet taken the Basic Needs Survey…there’s still time! Your answers will help the college implement student services. Start here!
Photo: Jennifer Berberian checks in students who pick up weekly grocery bags of food.