Davis and ASUCD plan Adopt-A-Student initiative

ASUCD and the City of Davis Student City Liaison Commission have begun building an Adopt-A-Student program, which would provide food to UC Davis students made by local families.

The idea is currently in an early planning stage and will allow all incoming and current UC Davis undergraduates who are struggling to provide food for themselves to eat home-cooked meals with host families.

ASUCD President Rebecca Sterling and ASUCD Vice President Yena Bae first presented the initiative to the campus community when they were running for executive office last winter.

“Rebecca [Sterling] and I were looking at some practical and tangible ways that could create a stronger sense of community with families and the community of Davis,” Bae said in an email.

The pair said that their inspiration for this project stemmed from a need for togetherness in the student body.

“We are initiating this program because the college town model of Davis is unique today, and something special that we should all benefit from,” Sterling said in an email. “This is an opportunity to supplement students’ education while at Davis, and connect permanent residents more with the large population of students.”

The creators of Adopt-A-Student said that the procedure also presents a sense of home and belonging to undergraduates in a college atmosphere.

“With the growth of the university, and more and more students yielding from out-of-state and international areas, we felt like this would be a great way to cater a sense of home away from home. I think this could be a huge support as most of them do struggle with not being physically near home or with their family,” Bae said.

In addition to the project’s effects on student participants, the members of ASUCD’s executive office also said that they are hopeful for the initiative’s future.

“We hope that this year’s kickoff of the program will be organized well enough so that there is no ‘termination’ date set for the program. We hope to make this a permanent presence in the Davis community,” Sterling said.

UC Davis students have commented on the program, stating that they like the idea because of the opportunities it presents concerning personal relationships, as well as health.

“If those [UC Davis] students don’t have good relationships with their families, they can get a second chance in building more relationships. They can actually get nutritional food as opposed to the unhealthy preservatives in junk food,” said first-year civil engineering major Elvia Velazquez.

The program is planned to launch next year with more information in social media advertising campaigns.

Students and families interested in the event may register online when the program begins. Interests, dietary restrictions and allergies are some of the key components in matching students and hosts during the adoption process, as well as an assured safe and healthy environment from the host family.

WENDY CHAO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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