SANTA MONICA – Before Thanksgiving, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) Volunteered with Santa Monica College (SMC) on Tuesday for her 2nd year.
Padilla joined dedicated SMC volunteers, along with state and local officials, to provide fresh holiday shopping for 1,500 food-insecure students.
“As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s important to support and give back to each other and our communities when we can,” said Senator Padilla. “I was proud to be part of their annual Christmas dinner drive with Santa Monica College and regional partners to ensure students have access to fresh groceries and groceries this holiday season. However, it is also a stark reminder that more needs to be done to tackle student food insecurity, a problem that existed before the pandemic. I introduced the BASIC Act to give students the resources they need to focus on their education. No student should have to worry about having their basic needs met while continuing their education. “
“Senator Padilla’s participation in today’s event is impressive because it increases the importance of giving back to our community,” said Lizzy Moore, president of the Santa Monica College Foundation and dean of institutional sponsorship for Santa Monica College. “The Santa Monica College community is grateful for his guidance in the Senate in pushing the BASIC Act and other legislative proposals to address the dramatic rate of food insecurity on all college campuses, including Santa Monica College.”
Even before the pandemic, 50 percent of California community college students were food insecure.
Senator Padilla is a strong advocate of food insecurity and ensuring that students can meet their basic needs while completing a college education. That year, Padilla introduced the Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act, a bicameral law designed to ensure that college students can meet their basic needs during their education. Specifically, legislation puts $ 1 billion in grants to help ensure colleges have the resources they need to meet the most basic needs of their students, and directs the federal government to streamline data sharing between agencies in order to To help students qualify for grants – particularly Pell Grant recipients and participants in community colleges and institutions that serve minorities.
Senator Padilla also joined his peers in introducing the Student Food Security Act of 2021. This bicameral law is helping to combat food insecurity on college campuses by giving more low-income college students access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), improving data collection and sharing, and creating a new scholarship program to help To assist colleges and universities in supporting their students.