Cal State Long Beach is creating a program to provide meals, temporary housing and cash to students dealing with unexpected emergencies.
The Student Emergency Intervention Program will allow students to help needy classmates through donations and other kinds of philanthropy, officials said.
"Despite our best efforts, students have to navigate an infinite number of unforeseen roadblocks that can delay progress to their degrees," Jeff Klaus, dean of students and associate vice president for student relations, said in a statement. "We have asked students at The Beach to lend a hand and they responded in an incredibly positive way to help mitigate food insecurity and even the unexpected emergency expenses of their fellow students."
Student hardships that would qualify for aid include car accidents, illness or hospitalization, loss of housing and medical expenses for the student, a spouse or child.
Eligible students will need to fill out an application to qualify for help, officials said.
As part of the effort, students on meal plans at the Long Beach campus have already donated more than 1,300 meals to those needing help feeding themselves or their families. The campus' nonprofit Forty-Niner Shops, which operate dining services, have contributed an additional 300 meals.
Funding for most of the program will be raised through the $225-million Declare Campaign, the campus' first comprehensive fundraising effort.
"The Declare Campaign is fostering a new culture of giving at The Beach," said Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley.
"We've had an incredible response to the campaign from the greater Long Beach community and now our students are recognizing the value of giving back. What could be better than students helping each other?"