Humboldt State student Austin Sani marches into the College Creek Marketplace with his friends and intends to do some damage. Sani has almost 2,000 J Points and he wants to buy as many items as possible for himself and his friends, because he is trying not to let his meal plan go to waste.
“I wish I had known there was a way for me to donate these points to help other students,” Sani said. “I definitely would have done that.”
Sani was not aware of the J Point donation program that started back in 2009. This was an opportunity for students who found themselves with extra points at the end of the semester. They were able to donate their points to be used to buy food for the Oh SNAP! food pantry on campus.
This year, the program has been revamped by Oh SNAP!, with the help of a $77,000 grant from the California State University. This grant is part of a system-wide initiative to better address the basic needs of students across the state.
Students will now be able to donate their points to be used by other students wherever J-points are accepted.
“The donated points will be put into a pot that faculty and administration will be able to give out to students in $30 increments,” Raven Craig, a peer health educator for HSU’s Health and Wellness Services, said.
Craig runs Oh SNAP!, and has a very critical role in making sure the donation program runs smoothly on campus.
“People have been asking for something like this for years, so I am very pleased that we are able to make it happen,” Craig said.
Students are able to visit the pantry or The J cafeteria to donate points. Already, $2,500 in points have been collected from donations and aid from the grant.
Oh SNAP! has been collecting donations this week from students who have an excess amount of points.
“I think this is a great program, and Dining Services really supports it,” Ron Rudebock, the Director of Dining Services at HSU, said. “It is really great to see students getting help, as well as seeing students donate to help their peers.”