Monte Freidig looks into food bank for SRJC students

Haley Sansom, Layout Editor

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With the cost of college tuition still on the rise and unemployment rates at record levels, college students are amongst those most impacted by the recession. SRJC political science teacher Monte Freidig had this realization a few years ago at the beginning of the recession.

Freidig asked his students how the recession had affected them personally, and found that many of his students were struggling. He found their stories moving and they resonated with him deeply. Freidig remembered the stories at the beginning of this semester when he read an article about universities setting up food banks to help hungry students.

Since then, Freidig hoped to do the same at SRJC. Originally, Freidig’s idea involved placing barrels around campus for students, staff and faculty to leave non-perishable food items. Once the food was collected, volunteers would distribute the food to needy students on campus.

There are a number of kinks that need to be worked out before this program can begin. Firstly, someone needs to run the program. “At Butte College and UCLA, the students run the food pantries themselves, and the Associated Students group has expressed interest in doing so here,” Freidig said.   

In order for this program to succeed, a lot of volunteers would be necessary. Volunteers would help place bins around campus, collect food from the bins and distribute the food to students. Any interested students should contact Associated Students.

Freidig hopes to have SRJC’s food bank ready by next semester. “In the meantime, hungry students should know there are several services in the county that provide food,” he said.

Students in need of food can visit any of these local food pantries:

Elisha’s Pantry 1717 Yulupa Ave. Santa Rosa (United Methodist Church),

707-542-2569         Thursday 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

FISH (Friends in Service Here) Food Pantry 1055 Benton, Santa Rosa,

707-527-5151 Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. to12 p.m.

FISH Sonoma 707-996-0111 18330 Highway 12 via Sierra Drive, Sonoma                         

Food Closet 6550 Covey Road, Forestville (United Methodist Church),

707-887-2020         Second and Fourth Monday of the month 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Food Stamps (Non Assistance)   2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa,

800-331-2278 or 707-565-2715    Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Healdsburg Food Pantry 1505 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg,

707-433-3663                     Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Inter-Church Food Pantry 500 Robinson Road, Sebastopol,

707-823-2483    Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nutrition Program  2400 County Center Drive, Suite A, Santa Rosa,

707-565-6590 ext. 3272

Open Closet 3175 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa (Redwood Covenant),

707-528-8463    Second Saturday of every month 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Petaluma Kitchen  301 Payran Street, Petaluma 707-778-6380

Redwood Empire Food Bank  3320 Industrial Drive, Santa Rosa 707-523-7900

Salvation Army 93 Stony Circle, Door C, Santa Rosa 707-542-0998

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