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  • Writer's pictureKarlen Nurijanyan

Nourishing Progress: Student LunchBox Quarter 2 Highlights

As we reflect on the past quarter, we are filled with immense gratitude and excitement for the remarkable milestones Student LunchBox (SLB) has achieved in combating food insecurity among college students. Through tireless efforts, innovative partnerships, and incredible community support, we have made significant strides in ensuring no college student has to choose between their education and their next meal – a testament to the power of collaboration, compassion, and determination to create a brighter future for all students.

Student LunchBox volunteers posing for a picture taken by Geremy Mason, basic needs coordinator at Pierce College

In this quarterly newsletter, we are excited to share the accomplishments we have achieved in our mission to combat college hunger. As part of our commitment to maintaining open communication with our valued donors and supporters, we send these updates quarterly to keep you informed about the incredible impact your support makes possible. We believe in the power of transparency and want to ensure that you, as an integral part of our community, are fully aware of the positive change we create together. 

Program Expansion and Partnerships 

We are happy to share that Montclair State University Los Angeles and Emerson Los Angeles have officially joined our efforts, extending our reach to even more students in need. This expansion is a testament to the growing recognition of the critical role SLB plays in supporting the well-being and academic success of college students.

Additionally, our extraordinary partnership with Food Forward has reached new heights, enabling SLB to receive an astonishing 10 tons of fresh produce weekly, which are proudly distributed to more than 4,000 college students through our partner pantries and mobile markets. This remarkable achievement empowers us to effectively address the growing need for our services throughout Los Angeles County. 

We are also very excited to share the launch of our "Closet" service on effective July 1st, a transformative initiative that will provide students with essential toiletries, hygiene kits, clothing, bedding, and other vital resources. Through our powerful collaboration with the Shelter Partnership (S. Mark Taper Foundation Shelter Resource Bank), we will receive pallets of essentials for our mobile markets, demonstrating their commitment to supporting students facing adversity. 

As we step into the third quarter of 2024, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our partnership with GoldenTree Asset Management. Their steadfast dedication to our mission enables us to extend our reach, delivering vital nutrition and resources to new communities and empowering students to excel in their academic and personal lives. GoldenTree's role as our premier partner is a luminous symbol of hope, illustrating the transformative impact we can achieve when we join forces and work collaboratively towards a shared vision. To learn more about this inspiring collaboration, please click here: Student LunchBox X GoldenTree Asset Management. 

Students at California State Dominguez Hills are holding drinks donated by Student LunchBox

Our heartfelt thanks go to our CSU campus partners, Jessica Vera, Christina Limon, Shira Brown, and Giselle Corral for their support in endorsing SLB for the Community Partnership Initiative at California State University. This powerful alliance has produced exceptional outcomes, with SLB securing substantial funding from CSU to strengthen our ongoing battle against campus hunger. This financial support will enable us to expand our programs, assist more students, and make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve. 

Lastly, we are thrilled to announce that after months of tireless dedication from six talented students at Harness Projects, Student LunchBox has unveiled a stunning new website. By harnessing their expertise and unwavering commitment, Harness Projects has revolutionized our online presence, empowering us to reach new heights, share our impact, and rally even greater support for our cause. 

Awards and Media Publications

In April, we were deeply honored to receive the prestigious 2024 Fruitanthropist Award, nominated by our cherished partner, Food Forward. This award not only celebrates our shared commitment to uplifting the next generation but also highlights the power of collaboration in addressing societal challenges. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Ellen DeVine, Liz Sommer and the rest of Food Forward’s team who wholeheartedly contributed to this remarkable opportunity.

Karlen Nurijanyan, CEO of Student LunchBox receives an award from Food Forward Staff Ellen DeVine and Charles Saseun

Our impact continues to grow, as evidenced by the recent media coverage from LAist and LA Times in collaboration with Food Forward. These stories shed light on the urgent need to support college students facing food insecurity and the transformative impact of our collaborative work. We are grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness and inspire others to join our cause.

New Members at Student LunchBox

We are delighted to welcome Laurie Settle from FoodBank of Southern California and Kelly Alarcon from Food Finders to our board of directors. Their passion for community well-being will undoubtedly contribute to SLB's continued growth and success. To learn more about our team, please visit our About Us page.

Witness the Impact: Student Surveys Reveal Transformative Changes

As we look back on the first six months of 2024, our hearts are filled with immeasurable joy as we unveil the extraordinary findings from our student surveys. These results not only validate the transformative power of Student LunchBox but also illuminate the profound difference we are making in the lives of the college students we have the privilege to support. 

The results speak for themselves: a remarkable 79% of students reported improved mental health and well-being, while 78% were able to save on essential expenses like tuition, rent, and transportation. Moreover, 74% experienced significant academic gains, 72% felt a reduced stigma surrounding campus hunger, and 69% saw notable improvements in their physical health. 

We invite you to witness the profound impact of your support firsthand by reading the inspiring stories shared by our students on our webpage. These heartfelt accounts serve as a powerful reminder of the tangible difference we can make when we come together as a community to uplift and empower our college students.

Embracing Tomorrow: A Glimpse into the Future

As we approach our 4th anniversary next month, we are filled with pride and gratitude for the incredible growth SLB has experienced in such a short time. From supporting thousands of students across 12 colleges and universities in Los Angeles County to setting an ambitious goal of reaching 16 campuses by the end of 2025, we are driven by the belief that every student deserves access to the resources they need to succeed. None of this would be possible without your unwavering support and belief in our mission.

If you feel inspired to join us in the fight against campus hunger, we invite you to make a Monetary Donation or provide in-kind support by gifting one of the three critical items on our Wish List. Your generosity has the power to transform lives and create a brighter future for countless students.

Thank you for being a part of the Student LunchBox family and for your commitment to making a difference.

Cedrece Webber and Xitlali Perez are recycling boxes and composting food after sorting through the goods provided by Student LunchBox



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