On the morning of April 14, 1979 in Monrovia, Liberia, residents woke up to an organized demonstration by a group of progressive Liberians. The collective was opposing the rising price of the nation’s staple food, rice. This demonstration led to a massive destruction of property, looting, and even death. All because of the shortage of rice. Still, the government of that time increased the price.
From Monrovia to Rocklin
This was what I experienced growing up as a child in a third-world country. It led to a lot of health problems in Liberia such as malnutrition, disease, and sometimes death. When a government does not have a system in place to be able to reach its citizen’s demands, this is what happens.
Most third-world countries depend on handouts from developed nations, not knowing that these developed countries also have problems of their own, but with systems in place to help. Let us take a look at some of these systems that are in our state through our own Sierra College and community.
According to Josh Morgan, the Marketing and Community Relations officer at Sierra College, “There are 203 students receiving Pell funds and 6,829 receiving a CCPG method B. These are students whose income is under the Poverty Line and who may therefore be classified as potentially food insecure.” He went on to say that there is an overlap between the two. So, there are between four and five thousand students at Sierra who may be food insecure, with a lack of consistent access to enough food.
A Food Pantry for Students to Use and Support
Morgan said Sierra College has many programs to address food insecurity including the Sierra College Food Pantry. In a phone conversation with Sienna Anaya, a Cal Fresh coordinator at the Sierra College Drive-Thru Food Pantry and the Placer Food Bank, she listed the requirements to partake. She said that students must be enrolled and have a reservation to participate. She also said that in order to qualify during the Covid-19 pandemic, students have to complete the Health Screening process using the Sierra college app.
Every student is given a voucher which must be used the week that it is issued. Each voucher has an expiration date stamped on the back of it. The voucher recipient’s information is sent to Financial Aid and considered part of their aid package. To serve students, the College also has Food Pantry student liaisons.
When asked how people may support the program, Anaya said individuals can make donations through the Sierra College Food Bank on Amazon.
Written by Fatu Koening | Featured photo by Katelyn Vengersammy