Community Colleges Struggle With Students’ Food Needs as Pandemic Increases Demand

With reduced work hours and a baby on the way, Maraya Bermudez stocks up on groceries for the week at the food pantry on her community college campus.

She frequented the Fullerton College food pantry sparingly during the school year, but she now goes every week to pick up bags that often include rice, beans, vegetables, fruits, milk and snacks. A former foster youth, she has also been eligible for debit cards from her college that she can use for groceries and gas. Bermudez, 20, was laid off in March when the pandemic shut down the restaurant where she was working as a waitress. Her only income comes from her clerical job for the campus foster youth office and what her boyfriend earns from a delivery company.

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