As the gap between the cost of college and available financial aid continues to soar, an increasing number of college students are struggling to cover the costs of basic necessities such as food, housing and transportation.
JBAY is working to ensure that meeting basic needs is not a barrier to succeeding in higher education. Recent studies have revealed that more than 50 percent of California Community College students experience food insecurity and almost 20 percent face homelessness. Basic needs insecurity and issues of equity are inextricably intertwined, with African American and American Indian students up to 40 percent more likely than white and Asian students to experience this issue. By addressing basic needs insecurity, JBAY is addressing larger educational and economic equity goals.
Campus Basic Needs Centers
In 2021, in partnership with the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC), JBAY sponsored an effort to secure funding for campus basic needs centers across the community college system. This resulted in a $30 million ongoing allocation that was increased to $40 million in 2022. The accompanying bill language requires every community college to operate a basic needs center staffed by a basic needs coordinator who serves as the single point of contact for students experiencing basic needs insecurity.
JBAY has also supported colleges and universities to launch and expand basic needs centers by providing technical assistance, grant funding, and advocacy. With the support of the ECMC Foundation, JBAY provided grants to seven community colleges to establish or expand their basic needs services. In addition to funding, JBAY provided technical assistance and training. Click here to view the funded campuses.