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Palomar hub opens to students

The new Palomar College Hub is officially open for students to gain access to essential resources to get them through the school year.

The new Palomar College Hub is officially open for students to gain access to essential resources to get them through the school year.

In SU-22, officials from the Student Affairs Office have created a living room type environment for students to feel safe and have a variety of resources to meet their basic needs.

“We are thrilled that the Hub is now open,” Chelsea Kott, Supervisor of Student Affairs said. “We have already seen a great number of students utilizing the space and our services, even before we started advertising for the Hub. It’s a heartwarming feeling to know that students feel welcome and safe.”

Located by the new food bank, the Hub will act as an extension to the food pantry as well as the nutrition center to provide a helping hand for food insecure students. Originally, the purpose of the space was to inform students about campus support and community resources. However, officials from the Student Affairs office wanted to make the Hub as flexible as possible to adapt to the evolving needs of students.

More than 20,000 students across 70 community colleges were food insecure, according to HOPE lab research.

The purpose of the Hub is to change the system by increasing accessibility to nutritious food, stable housing, financial wellness, and emotional support. In many cases, students who are hungry may also experience other insecurities, such as homelessness, domestic abuse, or trauma.

“The day before the Hub opened, we finalized compiling a list of over 100 community resources throughout San Marcos, Vista, Escondido, and surrounding areas. These are community resources that are open to supporting students with various needs ranging from childcare support, to free food, shelters, counseling and more,” Kott said.

With the new Hub students facing any issue other than food insecurities will be supported by professional staff members, lead interns, or peer mentors. The Hub will give students a chance to meet with their Calfresh representative to find out if they could be eligible for EBT or Food Stamps. “Since the Hub has opened, we have hosted Calfresh meetings in there to help students sign up for food stamps,” Kott said. “We opened up the doors for community members to use the space to have lunch and dialogue and helped students learn about community resources available to them.”

A student from Cal State San Marcos, Marilyn Cervantes, Interns for the Hub and expressesd how it’s a great environment for students to seek comfort from the staff and how it will continue to grow to become what the students need. “I feel like this will be the space where a lot of dialogue happens behind food injustice and mental health assistance. It would be a place where students have all of the resources, despite whatever challenges they are facing there would be an answer for them here to help them,” Cervantes said.

While this is only the start of what to expect from the new Hub, officials say it will always be evolving. “social justice and community resources will be at the center of the purpose of the Hub, and mental health is so very closely connected to these critical pieces,” Kott said. “We are excited for these pieces to evolve, become ever more connected, and continue to support student success on and off campus.”

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