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Bakersfield College and Cal State University Bakersfield receive around $200,000 for edible gardens

The goal is to help with food insecurity.
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Posted at 10:34 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 00:03:34-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield College and Cal State University Bakersfield are set to receive more than $200,000 in order to create edible gardens on their campus.

The goal is to help with issues like food insecurity.

One of the reasons the garden was created was to help students who are facing food insecurity.

One student here at Bakersfield College said that she’s excited that students won't have to worry anymore.

“I think it's safe to say that all of us at some point in our life have come into a hard patch to where we see just how vulnerable we can be. So, it’s really exciting as a school that we can be so community-oriented and help our own students,” said Stacey Jishke.

Partnership Executive with Adventist Health Kiyoshi Tomono said that is why they donated to Bakersfield College.

“Bakersfield College, they did their own independent studies and [after] talking to students, found that upwards of 40% of their students are food insecure and those students may have a period within a month-long 4-week period where they don't know where their next meal is coming from.”

Dean Of Instruction Jessica Wojtysiak said there are some students on campus who are homeless so she is hopeful about all the resources the garden will provide.

“They’ll also be working with the renegade room, which is our restaurant on campus where people can come and enjoy dinners and lunches. We’ll also be working with our cafeteria here and providing them with fresh produce. We’ll also be working with our renegade pantry which is one of our student pantries that provides free service to students in need.”

Wojtysiak said this garden will be multipurpose and also will be open to the community.

For Environmental Horticulture Professor Lindsay Ono, he’s most excited about getting people back to the basic.

“A lot of people don't understand where their food comes from but also, they don't understand how to grow their own food and it's very simple. So, there’s some choices that all you have to do is throw the seed out.”

As for Tomono, he said although the garden may not produce immediate health impacts in Kern, he says he’s looking to the future.

“We are planting the seeds for a program that could potentially impact longitudinally and generationally of kids who will become adults and continue the cycle of improving the well-being of Kern County.”