July 13, 2022 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation announced today that it has awarded $495,000 to 10 local nonprofit organizations to support approximately 34,000 local college students’ basic needs, such as food and housing assistance, technology resources and internet access, and mental and behavioral health care.

“Due to the lingering impact of the pandemic, local college students need our help more than ever,” said Mark Stuart, President and CEO of San Diego Foundation. “When we invest in college students, we’re investing in their personal and professional growth, while supporting a strong regional workforce where we all have the opportunity to succeed.”

In the most comprehensive study of basic needs and college student success by California State University, research shows that college students cannot adequately focus on learning if they’re struggling with meeting their basic needs, which results in lower GPAs, continuation rates and graduation rates. California’s high cost of living, the COVID-19 pandemic and recent inflation have left college students increasingly experiencing food and housing insecurity, and depression and anxiety.

Organizations receiving inaugural Basic Needs & College Success Grants include:

  • California State San Marcos University Foundation – $47,691 to provide food for the campus ASI Cougar Pantry, and support 30 students with access to campus emergency housing, and 50 students with reliable transportation.
  • Feeding San Diego – $50,000 to support the College Pantry Program to address food insecurity among students in community college organizations.
  • First Gen Scholars – $50,000 to fund a near-peer model of navigation assistance for social-emotional wellbeing for incoming first-year college students.
  • Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges – $50,000 to fund case management and coordination of basic needs resources at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
  • MiraCosta College Foundation – $50,000 to address the technology needs of low-income community college students with hotspots and other technology supports.
  • National University – $50,000 to provide freshmen low-income students from underrepresented communities basic needs support and case management services.
  • Promises2Kids – $47,750 to provide food, transportation and emergency childcare assistance for college-going, former foster care youth.
  • San Diego Hunger Coalition – $50,000 to increase student eligibility for CalFresh and increase capacity for food assistance navigation.
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation – $50,000 to support parent-students with food assistance, formula, diapers and other essential household and family needs.
  • Southwestern College Foundation – $50,000 to support SWC Cares Program that provides low-income students with financial assistance through Emergency Grants, as well as food and essential household supplies.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Education Initiative supports K-12 and higher education programs to extend opportunity to San Diego students as they prepare for success in life and work. For more than 46 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.3 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365