Surveys Show Food Insecurity Among Community College Students at 50 Percent

Cal Coast Credit Union has teamed with community colleges to Pack the Pantry

October 29, 2019

Cynthia Rice's office overlooks the Food Pantry on Mira Costa College campus. It's a well-trod path. Last year there were more than 23,000 visits from students suffering from food insecurity. Non-perishable foods- rice, beans, dried fruits and nuts line the shelves and cupboards. Dried milk, Rice says is also a popular item, “for students with infants.”

Mira Costa Community College volunteers pass out pasta to students.
Recent surveys by both Mira Costa and City College found that 50 percent of students on their campuses suffer from food insecurity, a relatively new term that means just what it sounds like – not knowing where their next meal will come from.

A nation-wide study from the Wisconsin Hope Lab put the national average of food insecurity among community college students at 46 percent.

In response to this need, Cal Coast Credit Union has teamed with local community colleges to Pack the Pantry - a program designed to fill the shelves of “pantries” and “kitchens” as they take root on college campuses across the county.

The extra inventory couldn’t come at a better time. Pack the Pantry gives the community a chance to donate food and funds at a time when, 10 and 12 weeks into the semester, supplies are running low and needed most.

In this episode of “Living Better in San Diego” we talk to Associate VP of Institutional Advancement at Mira Costa College, Cynthia Rice, and Bob Scheid of Cal Coast Credit Union to learn more about food insecurity amongst students in San Diego and what you can do to help.

Living Better in San Diego, hosted by Susan DeVincent and Evonne Ermey, is heard Sunday mornings on Entercom San Diego stations and features interviews with local newsmakers, community leaders and citizens. If you have a topic or event that you would like to submit for consideration, drop us a line at