First Pop-up MSJC Food Pantry Event Helps Students

Nov. 22 2017

Caesar and Lizette Ortiz holding their two kidsMore than 80 bags of groceries were gone in less than 30 minutes during Mt. San Jacinto College’s first Pop-up Food Pantry event held on November 21, 2017.

MSJC students and employees handed out groceries and informational resources to help families during the 2017 holiday season.

MSJC students Lizette and Caesar Ortiz with their two kids of Banning, received bags of groceries. “It's definitely going to help” says Caesar Ortiz as the couple expressed how the food pantry is necessary and appreciated.

“Current research shows that one of five students sit in their classrooms hungry and we are hoping to be part of the initiative to lessen the gap of food insecurity by offering food distribution at least once a month or more to help for our MSJC students,” said Dolores Smith, Dean of Student Services.

Smith understands the complexity of feeding populations and is part of the MSJC “Food for Thought” task force to include several MSJC departments and community partners. Current task force members are: Dean of Student Services, Dolores Smith; Administrative Associate III, Paula Moua; Director of Student Life and Development, Maya Cardenas; Director of Student Equity, Pamela Wright and CalWorks Director, Lisa Campbell.

The Pop-up Food Pantry event helps but the taskforce is interested in some long term solutions. Smith gave insight about Food For Thought, Pursuant to Senate Bill 85, Section 66027.8 (c) along with support from the California Community College Chancellor's Office to help tackle food security issues on community college campuses. She believes this initiative along with community partnerships will help establish permanent food pantries on MSJC campuses.

MSJC is looking to have a Pop-up food pantry at the Menifee Valley Campus and San Jacinto Campus in December, 2017.

For more information contact Paula Moua email at

PHOTO: MSJC couple Caesar and Lizette Ortiz holding their two kids after receiving groceries during MSJC Pop-up Food Pantry event at the San Jacinto campus.