Hawk Cares Program supplies basic needs for the CRC community


Austin Scott

Every Thursday, the Hawk Cares Program hosts Hawk Spot where students, staff and faculty can go get fresh produce. This is one of many services that the program provides to our CRC community.

The Hawk Cares Program is a student founded organization that equips the campus community with basic needs to ensure every student has the opportunity to reach their full academic and personal potential. 

The program offers services such as the Hawk Spot (food pantry and fresh produce), Home for Hawks (housing resources), Hawk Swap (new and gently used clothing), Gowns for Grads (donated caps and gowns) and showers for homeless students to conventionally have services to benefit everyone, according to the Cosumnes River College website. 

Oscar Mendoza Plasencia, supervisor of the Student Life and Leadership Center, said that the program is looking to become a full wraparound service that makes students comfortable when reaching out for these resources.

“One thing we are doing with basic needs, is we want to make sure that they not only feel supported, but also that they keep their dignity,” said Mendoza Plasencia. “People sometimes feel that they’re stripped of their dignity because they have these basic needs.”

The biggest thing happening within the program this semester is their transition over to Portable 48 once the College Center opens.

Mendoza Plasencia said the new space will triple the size that they currently have, quadruple the size of the food pantry, include an upgraded refrigeration system for fresh produce and a permanent clothing closet.

Student Personnel Assistant Jordan Cervantes added to this transition and said expanding the size and variety of food is what they’re looking forward to.

 “Late April, early May would be like a soft opening but it’s official,” said Cervantes.  “We’ve been working with our facilities to get the layout going where all the desks are going to be offices and how we’re going to construct the new food pantry.”

Cervantes said that one of the main objectives that the program wants to enforce is that their services are offered to staff and faculty around campus.

“The misconception is that it should only be for students, but we want to make it open to staff or faculty that may be in a tough situation as well,” said Cervantes.

Mendoza Plasencia said his favorite thing about being apart of the program is seeing his student leaders realize that their job is not only impactful, but that it changes lives.

“They get to know and learn that their work here goes beyond a paycheck,” said Mendoza Plasencia.

Associated Student Senate President Jonathan Leong said that being part of the Hawk Cares Program is a main factor for being involved in the Associated Students of CRC.

“If it wasn’t for being exposed to the basic need initiative, then I don’t think I would be involved in the ASCRC,” said Leong.

Zain Ali, student ambassador and student senator, talked about how his experience with the program has helped him realize how beneficial these resources are.

“Something I noticed about CRC is that many of the students are in financial need,” said Ali. “ Seeing the value and the joy that these resources create for our students is very impactful.”

Alex Flores, a 19-year-old undecided major, takes advantage of the fresh produce offered at the Hawk Spot and uses it for him and his family.

“For me it just comes as a benefit because my mom likes to cook and with all of these vegetables I’m able to get, it helps feed my family,” said Flores.

Mendoza Plasencia believes that with the part time work of many, that the full time problem of basic needs can be minimized.

“You can mitigate a full time need with part time work,” said Mendoza Plasencia.

The Hawk Cares Program is currently located in T-108 of the technology building and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m.

If you would like to contact the Hawk Cares Program, contact (916) 691-7315 or email [email protected]. To donate, call the Office of Philanthropy at (916) 691-7491 or (916) 691-7320.