The Lionakis Foundation was established in 2009 as a charitable organization dedicated to philanthropy, giving back financial support and volunteerism to promote a better future for the communities in which we all live and work. The charitable organizations we give back to are held close to our employees’ hearts and are nominated and funded by them. For the month of November, the Lionakis Foundation gave back to the University of California, Irvine’s (UCI) Fresh Basic Needs Hub which is a student-initiated effort and promotes equitable access to basic needs including food and housing security for the students on campus. They remain committed to making UCI a basic needs-secure campus.
FRESH Basic Needs Mission: "We understand that meeting the basic needs of our students greatly impacts their mental and physical health, academic performance, work productivity, and holistic success. FRESH offers emergency food and toiletries, connects students to critical on and off-campus resources, and provides educational opportunities for students to take personal responsibility for their wellness and the well-being of their communities. We are a home for all students, a collaborative space for innovative solutions, and an advocate for social justice and equity."
On November 22, the Lionakis Foundation hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn for UCI’s Fresh Basic Needs Hub to learn more about their vision, mission, and goals. They shared that Fresh Basic Needs offers a wide variety of services to assist students with basic needs including everything from food pantry visits, CalFresh application assistance, and consultations with a social worker. They also offer short-term transportation support where they provide Emergency Lyft passes in $25 dollar increments to student applicants who need assistance with transportation. Located on campus, UCI offers a Food Pantry as well, providing emergency food and toiletries to students experiencing basic needs insecurities and are able to access the food pantry once per week to shop. At the dining commons on campus, emergency food swipes are also available, giving students a well-balanced meal when needed in an emergency or when experiencing food insecurity.
At the conclusion of the Lunch and Learn program, the Lionakis Foundation presented Fresh Basic Needs with a check for $2,500 to contribute to their valuable mission of serving students at UCI.
For more information about UCI’s Fresh Basic Needs Hub, please visit their website: https://basicneeds.uci.edu/index.php or their Facebook page located here: https://www.facebook.com/ucifresh/