Evelyn Gonzalez, California State University – Fresno
Evelyn Gonzalez, a sophomore at Fresno State, is making an impact in issues of food insecurity. Since she arrived at Fresno State in 2013, Evelyn has been a student leader of the Fresno State Food Recovery Network. This program, organized and facilitated by students, seeks to address the issue of extreme food insecurity in the Central Valley by recovering surplus edible food and redistributing it to people in need. As the founding president of this organization, Evelyn has been instrumental in leveraging support from fellow students, community agencies, and university officials. The organization, under Evelyn’s leadership, recovered 38,000 pounds of food in its first year, mobilizing dozens of her fellow students to make this happen. Evelyn is an exceptional young person with a gift for motivating her peers to make lasting changes in our community.
-Joseph Castro, President
As the first member in my family to attend college, I feel compelled to leave my mark and do my best to give back to my community. I’ve always been passionate about volunteering; I have been doing it since I was young, but I never knew how much volunteering would help me find my closest friends and mentors. My passion for fighting one of the biggest issues in Fresno – food insecurity – comes from personal experience. Many college students, like myself, try to hide the fact that we are food insecure. Being part of the Food Recovery Network has opened my mind and shown me that it does not have to be like that. The more I speak about it, the more I feel I can break the barrier between other classmates and let them know about ways to get healthy foods. I have learned to speak to others about my experience with this issue and in return, others become comfortable enough to talk about their experience. My goal is to continue to fight food insecurity as a campus and a community.