More than 1,000 meals were donated to food-insecure students at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) recently as part of the university’s annual Feed a Need drive that gives students with meal plans the opportunity to donate them.

The program concluded early February with 1,005 meals raised from approximately 40 percent of the campus’ residential students giving to their peers, CSULB announced.

“What a great affirmation of caring,” President Jane Close Conoley said in a statement. “I am inspired by the kindness our students exhibit for one another, thus, I am not surprised by the results of this effort. Our students know that the challenges of balancing studies, work and home are difficult enough without having to deal with food insecurity. I am proud of their decision to make a difference for their fellow students. Beach students rock.”

“With the Forty-Niner Shops’ donation included, we will have 1,305 meals available for students in need,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Carmen Taylor in a statement.

A study from the Cal State University Office of the Chancellor was released around the same time of the Feed a Need results, finding that 41.6 percent of CSU students on its 23 campuses and 37.7 percent of CSULB students reported food insecurity. The research conducted by Dr. Rashida Crutchfield of CSULB and Dr. Jennifer Maguire of Humboldt State University focused on “homelessness, low and very low food insecurity.”

The study is the second phase of the CSU’s examination of food, housing and security/basic needs and is part of a systemwide report presented last week at Sacramento State University, according to CSULB.

Where Students Feed Students: Officials Celebrate Grand Opening of Cal State Long Beach’s Food Pantry

CSULB implemented its Basic Needs Initiative in 2015, a campus-wide program addressing housing and food insecurity among students. The services involved include ASI Beach Pantry, the CalFresh Outreach Program, the Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program, the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Beach Bites. Learn more about the initiative here.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].