The Impact of Grants
A recent article from Inside Higher Ed highlighted just how dire things have grown for many community college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Long Beach City College provided hot breakfasts for 1,800 students over 10 events. In contrast, the LBCC Basic Needs Office’s Grab N Go grocery pickup events have been providing food support to over 1,800 people every two weeks (approximately 400 students and members of their household) since the campus closed in March 2020.
With such exponential growth in our students’ need, it’s no surprise that the Foundation and the College are investing so much time, labor, and money into basic needs services for our Vikings. The College and Foundation’s grant offices have met bi-weekly throughout the pandemic, increasing collaboration and the Foundation’s capacity to go after, receive, and administer grants, leading to nearly $325,000 of direct aid to students and increased student support services capacity in the last 10 months.
Looking specifically at the largest of those grants, the CARES for Food Insecurity grant received last month, we wanted to share the impact of this grant with our donors and the community.
Direct Support for Students
Using these funds, the LBCC Basic Needs Office provided $200 food vouchers to over 1,200 students that were facing a gap in food services between the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. This works out to nearly 29,000 meals for LBCC students, when using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data showing the average household spent approximately $8.35 per meal in LA County last year. In other words, this grant allowed us to provide 15 times the number of meals for our students than we provided in all of 2019.
In addition to the direct support we were able to provide, this grant allowed us to add 185 cubic feet of cold storage across the Liberal Arts and Pacific Coast campuses. To put that in perspective, that’s enough cold storage to house over 1,400 gallons of milk or more than 6,500 pounds of packaged meat. This is a huge boon to the Basic Needs Program and will allow the College to provide perishable goods to students for years to come.
This grant also allowed the Basic Needs Program to send a post-card mailer to every student enrolled in classes during Fall 2020 that outlines the services they have access to as students. In December 2020, over 24,000 Vikings received information detailing the food, housing, and transportation support offered by the Basic Needs Program, as well as links to enroll in CalFresh so that eligible students can receive food support from the State of California.
Grants like this one have an incredible impact on our students, and as we move further into the Funding Our Future campaign and continue to go after funding for student-facing programs, we are committed to sharing that impact with our donors and the community.
To make a contribution to the Viking Student Emergency Fund, or to support the Foundation’s capacity to go after grant opportunities like this in the future with a gift to the General Fund, click here.