School of Theatre, Television, and Film Launches Food Pantry for Students

December 3, 2019
TTF Food Pantry
Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego and School of Communication Alumnus, in a Feeding San Diego warehouse

In the spirit of this giving season, this semester the School of Theatre, Television, and Film created an anonymous food pantry in their building for students experiencing food insecurity. The school partnered with Feeding San Diego and trained faculty and staff in food handling to provide this resource for their students. There is another Food training session to be held in Drama building on December 4th from 12 - 1 p.m. We welcome interested participants.

“We don’t keep records on which student is taking what, we just want them to be able to have unrestricted access to the food,” said Niyi Coker, director of the school. “If you’re hungry come and get some food, and still maintain your dignity.”

The partnership with Feeding San Diego began when faculty member Jay Sheehan, who teaches production and stage management for TTF, and who also is the event planner for Feeding San Diego, invited Coker to a Feeding San Diego event. Eight months later, a food pantry was placed in the Dramatic Arts building.

“Our mission is to create a healthy and well-nourished San Diego, not just pumping calories into people, but nutritious, healthy food through our feeding programs,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego and School of Communication Alumnus. “It is especially difficult for the theater and film students to have part-time jobs because of the rehearsals, so having some source of food available at the building is a great solution for these students.”

Hall said that there is more than enough food to feed everyone in San Diego, the challenge is food distribution.

According to Coker, “It’s extra duties but it’s for a good cause. Ultimately you don’t know how many lives you can change by providing them a meal, now my students can stay in school and not worry about what they will eat the next day.”

Regardless of the major, Coker believes that no student should face food insecurity while in college.

“We work hard to get scholarships, and many students spend their scholarship money on food. First, you pay rent, and then gas, but then when you have to worry about food then that doesn’t make too much sense,” said Coker.

To solve that problem there are now three food pantries, located in the communications building and the dramatic arts building.

“This is an example of what can happen if a couple of ideas get sparked and you have relationships in the right places,” said Sheehan. “We can not fix problems individually but we can come together and do something greater than ourselves.”

Coker’s goal is for all of the PSFA programs to get involved and expand the program so that all of the students in PSFA who have food insecurity issues will be able to help themselves.

“I think that SDSU is a center of innovation. The various leaders within campus don’t wait for someone else to solve their problems, they roll up their sleeves and figure out where the solution is found,” said Hall.

SDSU has many resources for students facing food insecurity or homelessness while in college. If you are in need, please visit the Economic Crisis Response Team and Associated Students Food Pantry.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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