Fullerton College has many students that have difficulty finding a reliable food source on a daily bases, and sometimes students carry on with an empty stomach. Events like the Fall Harvest Food Drive help unload the stress for food and allows people to enjoy time with family and friends.
According to staff, around 3,000 pounds of goods were given at the 50th annual Fall Harvest Food Drive. The food drive took place in parking lot A, on Tuesday, Nov. 26. Faculty members and student volunteers distributed items until 5 p.m.
Folks were happy that Fullerton College has continued to hold the annual Fall Harvest Food Drive. Many people who came to the food drive attend Fullerton College, but besides attending school, they are also keeping a stable job, and taking care of families.
According to a survey by The Hope Center, which included Fullerton College, 52% of students cannot afford to eat balanced meals and worry about running out of food. For more information, students can visit The Hope Center site.
Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
Christian Sales, a student at Fullerton College, works at Starbucks and recently moved out. He is still trying his best to find balance with his situation. Sales is a full-time student hoping to graduate from a four-year college and pursue real estate.
“I just moved out, and I started working at Starbucks, but that’s not enough, so I get leftover food from work and the food bank,” Sales said.
There was a variety of can goods, and fresh produces given out. Can food items distributed included: Chef Boyardee pasta, corn, gravy, and soup. Fresh produce included: onions, fruits, lettuce, and potatoes.
Gift cards to several groceries store were also given out to purchase a turkey and other Thanksgiving essentials.
The items were donated by students, faculty members, and the Orange County Social Service department.
The Chris Lamm & Toni DuBois-Walker Memorial Food Bank was established and supported by The Ethnic Studies Department, along with activist group M.E.Ch.A. to address the growing number of Fullerton College students, struggling to find nutritional food & resources to meet their needs.
Adele G. Perez is a retired Fullerton professor who has been supporting the food drive since day one and has carried on the tradition for 50 years. Perez believes the food bank should be open every year to help and make sure students do well in school. Her goal is to eliminate students worry about when the next meal will be for them and their family.
“We always know that our students are stressed out financially. Typically community college students tend to be the most stressed-out financially out of all the students,” Perez said.
The food bank is open regularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon until 2 p.m. and 4-6:30 p.m. It is also open on Thursdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Students are welcome to take anything from the food bank, they just need to be enrolled in at least three units.
According to staff, in January of next year, the food bank is looking forward to expanding its facility and will be moved to another location.