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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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The Aztecs Rock Hunger leadership team volunteering at The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

Aztecs Rock Hunger Returns with $100,000 Goal

The annual campaign kicks off today to benefit The Jacobs & Cushman Food Bank, A.S. Food Pantry and SDSU Economic Crisis Response Team.
By SDSU Associated Students

The annual Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign is back to fight food and nutrition insecurity now through Nov. 6. 

The university-wide campaign, led by Associated Students, benefits The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, A.S. Food Pantry and SDSU Economic Crisis and Response Team. A $1 donation equates to two meals.

“We are immensely grateful to San Diego State University for supporting our vital mission in the community with this year’s Aztecs Rock Hunger Food Drive,” said Casey Castillo, CEO of The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. “Donations are critical to the San Diego Food Bank during this time since we are continuing to feed record numbers of families who are still recovering from the financial impacts of the pandemic while facing soaring gas, rent and food prices due to record-high inflation.”

Despite COVID-19 numbers lowering, the need for food remains extremely prevalent. A lasting impact from the pandemic and inflation have led to 28% of San Diego’s residents living below the federal poverty level and more than one in four adults and one in three children as food insecure. The theme for this year’s campaign is aptly titled “Feed the Need.”

“Feed the Need is the tagline for Aztecs Rock Hunger this year based on the growing need that’s not only in the San Diego area but all across the U.S.,” said Sophia Koch, A.S. Vice President of Financial Affairs. “There’s an increased need for food due to a lasting impact from COVID as well as financial struggles due to inflation and we want to make sure that we’re fighting that.”

As part of ARH, 20% of the monetary donations go to the Economic Crisis and Response team, a university program aiming to bridge the gap in resources for students experiencing immediate food, housing or unforeseen financial crises that impact student success. During the 2021-22 academic year, ECRT assisted an estimated 2,000 students.

In addition, a portion of the amount raised also goes back to SDSU students through the A.S. Food Pantry, a free service for all students, faculty and staff facing food insecurity. Located on the  third floor of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, the food pantry is open three days a week and provides fresh and nutritious food to those in need. On average, 100,000 pounds of food is distributed at the food pantry annually.

“We saw the impact that COVID had on individuals in 2020 and 2021 but this year, we’re starting to see the lasting impact that the pandemic has had on everyone,” Koch said. “Being able to meet everyone’s needs and make sure they are cared for is incredibly important, now more than ever really.”

Since ARH’s inception in 2010, the SDSU community has raised over $666,000 or 4 million pounds of food. In last year’s campaign, over $89,000 was raised but this year, ARH is looking to raise even more money: $100,000.

There are five easy ways to donate to Aztecs Rock Hunger:

“I’m excited about the community that will be built during this campaign where all of our students, faculty, staff and community members come together for one goal,” Koch said.

For more information, go to the ARH website or follow ARH on Instagram: @aztecsrockhunger.