Life for a college student is hard enough, trying to juggle work and school, many with children at home and not enough money to make ends meet every month.
With the coronavirus, the struggle has grown.
Sempra LNG, through its Foundation’s COVID Nonprofit Hardship Fund, has decided that no student should go hungry. The Sempra Energy Foundation has donated $20,000 to the Port Arthur Higher Education Foundation which, in turn, will provide $6,000 to the Lamar State College Port Arthur Food Bank. LSCPA administrators are currently determining the best way to assist students using the additional $14,000 from the Sempra contribution.
The LSCPA Food Bank makes food and other sundries available to the college’s students, faculty and staff who are in need.
“No one should go hungry, ever,” LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard said. “We are a close-knit campus and we consider our co-workers and our students to be a family. Sempra has made it possible for us to broaden the impact our food bank has on this family.”
The LSCPA Food Bank is operated by the Student Activities Office, led by Director Kiet Le. “We have seen an increase in the number of people who need help and we do all we can to assist everyone who calls on us,” he said. “This donation is a blessing and will provide so many more students and their families with one of life’s basic needs.”
It is estimated by the College and Food Bank Alliance that more than half of college students in the United States deal with food insecurity and that the number of food-insecure community college students exceeds the national average. This can be detrimental to grades, attendance and concentration.
The LSCPA Food Bank has been in existence for several years, providing food to students who live on or off campus as well as faculty and staff who find themselves in need. The food bank has been especially beneficial during natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are thrilled to be able to support your efforts in the community during this unprecedented time,” said Kelly Prasser of Sempra LNG’s External Affairs office.
The Sempra Energy family of companies has donated more than $6 million to coronavirus relief efforts. Of that, $1.75 million in grants is being presented to nonprofit organizations serving populations affected by COVID-19.
“Many nonprofit organizations are faced with unprecedented demand for their services due to the current COVID-19 situation,” said Dennis V. Arriola, board chair of the Sempra Energy Foundation, and executive vice president and group president of Sempra Energy. “These grants will help them to continue serving the needs of vulnerable populations who need their support now more than ever.”