The Hawk Spot food pantry has started offering fresh produce this semester, said Oscar Mendoza Plascencia, the Student Life and Leadership Center supervisor.
Over the summer, Mendoza Plascencia said The Hawk Spot did test runs handing out fresh produce and started offering it as a regular feature.
“It takes courage to disclose these needs,” said Mendoza Plascencia. “We are looking to cover basic necessities and not just food.”
This semester, they are also handing out diapers and feminine hygiene items, said Mendoza Plascencia. He added that in the coming semesters, The Hawk Spot will try and add more basic necessities in the future, like shampoo, towels and shaving needs.
“It’s really beneficial,” said 52-year-old Larry Deckaer, a business major who uses the service. “I make minimum wage, and 90% of that is taken up by rent and utilities alone.”
Student Personnel Assistant Jordan Cervantes added that alongside new products, The Hawk Spot also increased the availability of the service this semester. This includes changing regular pickup times from two hours to four, an additional five-hour pickup day for produce. They also plan on distributing at the Elk Grove Center.
“Personally, I think it’s a good thing,” said Angel Miller, an 18-year-old English major. “Those are basic necessities everyone needs.”
Mendoza Plascencia said the changes were possible because of the partnership with the Sacramento Food Bank. The partnership, which he said began this summer, was what lead to the addition of fresh produce.
Cervantes and Mendoza Plascencia both mentioned the desire to add refrigeration to store the fresh food. Cervantes noted that currently anything not taken has to be thrown out.
The Hawk Spot, along with other Student Life services, will be included in the Hawks Cares program. The program, which is still developing, is currently aiming to establish a single location for students to find and use the various Student Life programs.
The Hawk Spot is located in T-111 and allows students to pick up items once a week. Its hours are 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and produce pickup on Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, appointments can be made on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made at [email protected].