SparkPoint snacks operation exceeding

The SparkPoint center on campus started off the fall semester with baskets full of snacks spread out all over the campus for students and staff members to grab if they wish.

College students tend to struggle in multiple ways throughout their college years and access to food is one of the many ways a student can struggle. SparkPoint is known for being a resource that helps families and individuals to achieve “financial self-sufficiency”.

Chad Thompson, Director of SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College shared his thoughts about the new operation called SparkPoint Snacks.

“Food security is really important for us. We had been pushing to incorporate the students and community,” said Thompson. “It is a great way to connect students with SparkPoint services.”

The process of getting the baskets with snacks ready took only about a week. It was inspired by Dr. Frank Harris III, a Professor of Postsecondary Education in the College of Education and Co-Director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab. Harris III, said during an event, “Make snacks available with no barriers”.

For Thompson, this was a direct and possible thing to accomplish at Skyline College. There were programs at Skyline like early childhood education and counseling programs that have been sponsoring the effort by hosting baskets in their offices. Currently, there are a total of 13 baskets placed around the campus, each one hosted by each sponsored program. As of Sept. 14, there had been a total of 4,434 snacks that were distributed on the campus towards students and staff.

Professors from the early childhood education program had been providing snacks for their students with their own money in the past, so having these baskets has been beneficial for them. Kristina Brower, program and services coordinator of Skyline’s Early Childhood Program, stated that the baskets located in their offices run out of snacks by the end of every week and they need to call for a restock because of how successful they have been.

“We believe that no student should feel hungry while studying,” Brower said. “Many of our students are running here from work, or going to work, and for them to be able to have something in their stomach is important.”

Brower and Thompson have witnessed or heard of students rushing to work or school with no time to get food and /or of students who are too embarrassed to ask for food or resources, like the ones SparkPoint provides, and keeping their students well feed is one of the priorities that Skyline College has as an Institution.

Having these baskets available around campus gives students the freedom to take food and get to know more about SparkPoint, or to know more about the resources that Skyline College has for students and their community.

The snacks that are in the baskets come with a SparkPoint business card attached with information that connects students with CalFresh application assistance, information about the SparkPoint food pantry, financial coaching and much more.

Skyline student Nelson Alonzo shared his thoughts about the SparkPoint snacks that have been spread out across campus.

“I believe that it’s a good idea and this correlates to the big statement that San Francisco is getting expensive,” Alonzo said. “Having tools and programs helping students out is an amazing thing because people can get what they need and support their students, unlike other schools.”