Publish Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:04:00 -0800

Janine Ledoux examines a box of donations

A chance meeting between officials from Crafton Hills College and Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County has resulted in a new collaboration to combat food insecurity on campus.

The San Bernardino-based nonprofit is now delivering monthly food and goods donations to Crafton in support of the college’s efforts to ensure its students do not go hungry while enrolled in school.

“This is something that I have dreamt about,” said Janine Ledoux, a professor of kinesiology and health at CHC. “I’m on a mission to help students with food insecurity because we want to make sure they’re successful throughout their college experience.”

The new partnership came at the right time after an ongoing on-campus granola bar drive came to a “screeching halt,” Ledoux said. And on a rainy day in late January, four pallets of goods arrived at Crafton and ready for distribution.

Donated items – from KIND granola bars to toiletries – will be distributed through CHC’s COACH Cupboard, a food pantry under Ledoux’s guidance, while the donations itself come through Community Action Partnership’s Campus Cupboard Program. The initiative “works to alleviate the barriers and challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger, to encourage college and university students to remain in school and achieve their educational goals and degrees,” according to the nonprofit.

“We are always looking at putting in different and new programs in places where we can reach populations that are currently not receiving them,” said Brandon Romano, CAP’s food bank program manager, adding the goal of Campus Cupboard is to focus on long-term stability. “College students make a lot of sense because the long-term goal is to encourage them and support them to stay in school and to break that cycle of poverty.”

Currently, 99 percent of donations into COACH Cupboard comes from students and staff. Donations may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the old gymnasium. Nonperishable items and toiletries will be accepted. You can learn more about the cupboard here.

Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County is part of the National Community Action Network and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Along with its food bank, the nonprofit works to combat homelessness and advocates for those in need. More on the nonprofit can be found online at www.capsbc.org