Hawk Cares program impacted by shutdown

The various support services provided to Cosumnes River College students via Hawk Cares Program have been impacted by the shutdown of the campus on Wednesday, said Student Life and Leadership Center Supervisor Oscar Mendoza Plascencia.

The shutdown has meant the various services under Hawk Cares, such as the food pantry and clothes closet, have had to change how they operate, said Mendoza Plascencia.

“It’s affected every aspect of what we do,” said Mendoza Plascencia. “The distribution of food through our pantry has been halted.”

The final distribution took place on March 17, with over 100 students picking up items, said Mendoza Plascencia. The pickups were done in a manner similar to a drive through, in order to minimize contact, said Mendoza Plascencia.

“Everything is being done in a restricted sense,” said Melisha Blakes, the case manager for Hawk Cares. “Everything that can be done remotely is being done.”

Twenty-year old English major Sierra Hoff was concerned about how these restrictions could impact the students who use the program.

I don’t use these services because I’m very fortunate,” said Hoff. “However, I tutor on campus and many of my students rely on these kinds of services.”

She said the added stress of the situation may lead to many students feeling overwhelmed and making the decision to drop out of their courses.

In order to help aid students whose access to specific services has been cut off, the Hawk Cares program is provided links to resources for students through their respective webpages, said Blakes. These include resources for both other food pantries and housing programs, said Blakes.

There has also been an effort by Hawk Cares to spread the information on resources to as many students as possible, said Blakes. This includes encouraging faculty members to let their students know about them as well, said Blakes.

“We have asked anyone who has interactions with students to try and spread the info if they can,” said Blakes.

Mendoza Plascencia said one of the services still active through the shutdown will be the Student Emergency Fund, which provides a one-time grant to students in an emergency situation. 

The grant has been lowered from $1,500 to $500 in order to increase availability, said Mendoza Plascencia.

A scholarship for students affected by the shutdown is also available, said Blakes. Named the Scholly Covid-19 Student Relief Fund, the scholarship provides $200 in assistance for buying necessities, according to the Scholly website.