MUFG Union Bank Foundation Awards $400,000 to Expand California Community Colleges Student Outreach Efforts to Address Food Insecurity

MUFG Union Bank Foundation Awards $400,000 to Expand California Community Colleges Student Outreach Efforts to Address Food Insecurity

Funds will be used to engage 150 students in paid outreach efforts to raise awareness of California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, CalFresh

SACRAMENTO, CA—September 29, 2021—The Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC) is proud to announce it has received a $400,000 grant from the MUFG Union Bank Foundation to expand the 2021-2022 California Community Colleges Student Outreach Ambassadors (Ambassadors) Program. Dollars will help expand the program onto 15 campuses and provide student ambassadors with materials needed to conduct peer-to-peer outreach in their communities and spread awareness of and reduce stigma around programs and services that combat food insecurity.

The generous contribution comes at a critical time for students, as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including statewide closures and economic uncertainty, have increased challenges for many Californians in meeting their basic needs. In a recent study by the California Community Colleges, nearly 60% of students reported food insecurity, housing insecurity, or homelessness in 2020, with students of color 16% more likely to be facing challenges related to basic needs than their white counterparts. 

With support from philanthropy, FoundationCCC operates the Student Outreach Ambassadors Program, training students to help spread awareness of important community resources and public benefit programs that address Californians’ basic needs. Since the inception of the Student Outreach Ambassador program in 2018, Student Outreach Ambassadors have reached over 500,000 of their peers with important resources to address basic needs and student hunger. MUFG Union Bank Foundation dollars will specifically focus outreach efforts on food insecurity, raising awareness of and getting more community college students to apply for benefits associated with CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Student Ambassadors receive a paid stipend, ongoing training and professional development, and a toolkit to assist with outreach. Ambassadors are also connected to college staff who provide training and resources about local campus and community resources. By participating in the Ambassador program participants not only learn valuable leadership and communication skills, but also work with and build a personal network of wellness centers, food pantries, CalFresh enrollment centers, foster youth liaisons, homeless youth liaisons, and mental health counselors to expand collective awareness and impact.

“Our intention with this partnership is to invest in innovative education and outreach efforts that leverage existing resources and have been proven to address food security and basic needs. California’s community colleges play an important role in educational access and closing the income and wealth gap,” said Kathy Patoff, Chief Operating Officer of the MUFG Union Bank Foundation. “This effort will help students get the support they need so that they can be successful in their educational journey.”

“As our California community college students grapple with challenges resulting from the ongoing pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we increase efforts to help them meet their basic needs. We’re grateful for the support of MUFG Union Bank Foundation, which will expand the Student Ambassadors Program and connect our system’s most vulnerable individuals with resources to help them overcome barriers related to food insecurity and continue towards their education and career goals with confidence,” said Keetha Mills, President and CEO of FoundationCCC.

With the addition of these 15 colleges funded by the MUFG Union Bank Foundation the Student Outreach Ambassador Program has now expanded onto 40 participating California community colleges, which are currently accepting applications for participation through September 30, 2021. Interested students can apply by emailing ambassador@foundationccc.org to access the application and will be notified on potential involvement in early October 2021.

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About the Foundation for California Community Colleges
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the official nonprofit foundation to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and Chancellor's Office. The Foundation's mission is to benefit, support, and enhance the missions of the California Community Colleges system, the largest higher education system in the nation. Incorporated in 1998, the Foundation works to benefit all California Community College students, colleges, college foundations, and the system as a whole by accelerating paths to economic and social mobility, strengthening communities, and reducing barriers to opportunities for all Californians. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. For more information, visit www.foundationccc.org

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
As of June 30, 2021, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. operated 305 branches, consisting primarily of retail banking branches in the West Coast states, along with commercial branches in Texas, Illinois, New York, and Georgia. We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial, and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of our clients. We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for clients, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services. With assets of $133.2 billion, as of June 30, 2021, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings, and capital ratios relative to peer banks. MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG), one of the world’s largest financial institutions with total assets of approximately ¥362.1 trillion (JPY) or $3.3 trillion (USD)¹, as of June 30, 2021. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company, and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California.

1Exchange rate of 1 USD=¥110.6 (JPY) as of June 30, 2021 

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Sarah London
Director of Communications
T: 916.498.6778
E: slondon@foundationccc.org

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