ARC Virtual Services Guide Helps Students Affected by Pandemic – The American River Current

How can students study when they worry about their survival?

American River College is hosting many virtual services, including the Beaver Food Pantry, to help students in need during the spring 2021 semester. (File photo)

Students have always been busy juggling school, work and family. Add a pandemic, sprinkle in lockdowns and layoffs, and add the stress of an all-too-exciting election year. The result? A stressed and struggling student.

The American River College administration recognizes this and has compiled a virtual resource guide to help students during this time. Whether it’s helping with housing, groceries or even emergency cash, help can be found on the Virtual Services Guide Web page.

Homes for Beavers is a housing resource for homeless ARC students where staff provide discounted hotel rooms for up to two weeks for homeless students. While in hotel rooms, Homes for Beavers works with students to find long-term shelter.

“Since March 2020 when we went remote, we’ve probably helped over 150 students,” said Valerie Adger, student services supervisor. homeless and no other options.

Another problem that students face is food insecurity. To combat this, the Beaver Food Pantry organizes monthly food distributions.

Students register online and line up outside the entrance to the stadium car park, while 25-30 volunteers fill the trunk of their cars with non-perishable food and toiletries. The last distribution took place on January 25.

“We involved about 500 students [in January]said Adger. “The pandemic has created an increased need due to job losses in our region and across the country.”

As many people have learned with stimulus checks, sometimes the most useful thing for a struggling student is money. ARC offers a Student Emergency Fund, providing students with $500 grants for whatever they need.

“The Student Emergency Fund has awarded $203,735 in emergency grants to 290 students since its launch in 2008,” said Scott Crow, CRA public information officer.

For other resources not related to the ARC, students are encouraged to consult Aunt Bertha, an online social care network that connects people to a wide range of community programs. These are resources that the CRA cannot necessarily help with, such as bus passes, pro bono lawyers, and drug addiction centers.

While being a student is never easy, ARC or local community resources can make your life easier. If students don’t have to worry so much about survival, they can focus on their grades and their future. To donate to Beaver Cares resources, visit

Perry A. Thomasson