The Los Medanos College Academic Senate has just launched their new local discounts project to help struggling college students pay for a meal.
In addition to the other efforts being made to provide for students on campus, LMCAS wanted to use this as an opportunity to give back to their community.
“It was just an idea that I had because I heard so many students struggle with a basic necessity like food,” said Vice President Natasha Garcia, who first began the project last semester.
Student Life Coordinator John Nguyen further explained their reason for creating the program.
“She took the initiative and noticed that there was a lot of food insecurity here,” said Nguyen. “While we have a food pantry here on campus, which is extremely great and valuable to students here, she wanted to support local businesses as well.”
The type of discount and the amount are entirely up to each separate establishment. For now, they are focusing on restaurants. Senators were placed in charge of taking the proposal to each business.
“All types of restaurants here in Pittsburg [are being approached], just one that pops up in my head is Las Panchitas which is literally right around the corner. LMCAS was able to secure a 10 percent discount and a free drink with every single purchase,” said Nguyen.
One other place on board with the idea is Pittsburg’s Jamba Juice location.
Garcia said, “At first the district manager wasn’t really on board with the idea, however, I know they shifted the district manager and she’s actually very excited about it.”
She also mentioned wanting to enlist Chipotle and Blue Saigon for the project as well. LMCAS President Israel Castro Cortez acknowledged that with corporations and big companies, there are more complications in term so getting them to participate.
Garcia said it’s imperative that they focus on businesses where the main LMC campus is. “We want to focus on the local businesses. We know that once we steer more toward Brentwood, it’s more like big corporations,” she said. “I feel like there’s a lot here in downtown Pittsburg where there are more local than there is big chain restaurants.”
Senators made it clear that the person the discount would only provide for those with a current LMC ID. For most businesses, they’re looking to provide for the only for the students and not their entire family.
“It depends on every single restaurant, but typically all you have to do is go to the restaurant, show them your student ID to verify that you’re a student and you get the discount,” said Nguyen.
For the most part, they are looking to provide discounts to local businesses in Pittsburg, but there have been talks of expanding the project to Brentwood as well.
“The vision is to expand this for LMC in general meaning the Brentwood campus — the new campus and to include all the cities that surround LMC but both campuses specifically,” said Castro Cortez.
He also mentioned wanting other schools in the East Bay to implement this sort of program as a “sort of implied incentive” for students. So for now, it’s starting off on a smaller scale.
While there is no official list up right now, LMCAS is working to link students with the restaurants and necessary information needed for the discount.
“We’re still creating a separate web page on the LMCAS website to showcase every single business that we have a relationship with,” said Nguyen.
For more information on LMCAS, meetings are Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. in L-105.