March 15, 2018 — Thanks to Senate Bill 85 the California State University (CSU) announced the distribution of more than $2 million across its 23 universities to support student success and the CSU Basic Needs Initiative

Awards – ranging from $40,000 to $155,000 – will be dispersed directly to CSU campuses to expand existing efforts to fight student hunger, raise awareness of services currently offered on campus and develop practices and procedures to provide additional assistance to students in need. The remaining funds will be used to support campus efforts through professional development, technical assistance and marketing efforts. 

“When students’ basic needs are not addressed it can have an impact on their holistic well-being and academic growth,” said Denise Bevly, the CSU’s director of Student Wellness and Basic Needs Initiative. “That is why all CSU campuses have taken a number of actions to support students who are struggling with food or housing insecurity. This additional funding will enable our campuses to better support students by expanding services such as meal-sharing programs, CalFresh enrollment and emergency grants.” 

Senate Bill 85 – signed into law in June 2017 – allocated $7.5 million in support of Hunger-Free College Campuses. The state’s investment provided the CSU, University of California and California Community College systems each a one-time $2.5 million allocation to expand the fight against student hunger. 

The CSU is a national leader in studying the prevalence of food and housing insecurity as well as identifying and implementing solutions to support students’ basic needs and student success, consistent with the goals of Graduation Initiative 2025

In 2015, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White commissioned a snapshot study, to gain a clearer picture of the prevalence of food and housing insecurity on campus. Since the initial snapshot study, all 23 CSU universities have taken a number of actions to address students’ basic needs. A second mixed-methods study led by Rashida Crutchfield, Ed.D., MSW  and Jennifer Maguire, Ph.D., MSW released in February 2018, explored experiences of students with food and housing insecurity through student surveys and focus group interviews. 
 
# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 50,800 faculty and staff and 484,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 110,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.