By Alexei Koseff

Freedom Allison arrived at Sacramento State in late August for the start of fall semester with two weeks to go until her next food assistance benefit from the state’s CalFresh program.

After setting aside rent for a new apartment, furnishing her room and buying books, she had little money left for food. Welcome snacks provided by her housing complex helped in the first week; then she bought a bag of chicken to mix in with rice she brought on the move from Redding. She stretched out the simple combination for meal after meal after meal.

So by the time Sacramento State’s new student food pantry opened on Sept. 15, Allison was hungry. Walking to class, she noticed a flier advertising the grand opening and felt such a sense of relief that she ran all the way there.

“I’ve never been so excited to see a can of chili in my life,” she said, reflecting recently on the difficult transition to campus life.

Allison, a 48-year-old grandmother returning to California State University, Sacramento, after one previous semester in 2011 and more than two decades in and out of community college, is not your typical university junior. But her experience with hunger resonates broadly at campuses across the country.

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[Source]: Sacramento Bee