Giving Tuesday Raises Money for the Ram Pantry


Photo by: Larry Valenzuela

Carole Goldsmith receiving a check for $5,000 donated by The Foundation for the Ram Pantry for the Fresno City College Giving Tuesday.

Story By: Ben Rodriguez, Reporter

Fresno City College kicked off its 2018 Giving Tuesday campaign by encouraging students, staff and the community to donate to the funds for the Ram Pantry.

This is the college’s first time participating in Giving Tuesday, a global event that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, falling on on Nov. 27. It is widely understood as a day of charity and giving back.

The Ram Pantry is a student-run food bank that offers a variety of options — from canned foods to fresh produce — all to help alleviate food insecurity in the student body.

Rico Guerrero, the executive director of the State Center Community College Foundation, said the Ram Pantry is a “need that isn’t funded like it should be.”

He and the foundation partnered with FCC to recruit donors to achieve the campaign’s goal of $50,000.

As of Monday, Nov. 27, the campaign had raised $20,000, said Guerrero.

Gina Cuttone, President of State Center Community College Foundation, presented FCC with a $5,000 check, matching the largest donations, which were given by anonymous donors.
“No donation is too small,” said Carole Goldsmith, president of FCC. Goldsmith vowed to match students’ donations, up to $1,000.

“It’s about taking care of our students,” Goldsmith said.

Carlson Herbert, an FCC student, said he doesn’t necessarily rely on the pantry, but it helps with providing a few snacks to get him through the day, especially when he’s on a budget.

Larry Mechum said he utilizes the pantry on a regular basis. For Mechum, a student, the pantry is more than just a place to grab a snack. It is a place to see familiar faces and get what he needs to get him through the day.

Cindy Dunn, coordinator of the pantry, said she is familiar with Mechum’s situation. In a touching exchange on Mon. Nov. 26, Dunn surprised Mechum in the middle of the pantry with a box full of Thanksgiving leftovers from her own family meal.

Mechum was brought to tears by the kind gesture.

“I didn’t know what to do for Thanksgiving. My children are grown and have their own lives,” Mechum said.

He said he is enrolled at FCC because it gives him something to do and a reason to get up in the morning.

“It’s really great to have this place, it really is,” Mechum said, as he accepted Dunn’s offering, adding that the Ram Pantry is a convenient resource for him, as other food pantries are too far away.
Dunn said the Ram Pantry couldn’t happen without the help of other agencies.

The Ram Pantry buys most of its food from the Central California Food Bank and receives free donations from Cornerstone Church and Fresno Metro Ministry.

All of the money raised during Giving Tuesday will be used to buy new food for students. The pantry even allows students to make a wish list of the foods they would love to see see.

Located next to the bookstore, the Ram Pantry is open Monday- Friday from 10 a.m – 2 p.m.