Generosity and empathy are qualities the Fullerton College community strives to instill in students. The 50th annual Fall Harvest Food Drive is a testament to those qualities.
The Ethnic Studies Department, along with M.E.Ch.A., remains dedicated to continually giving a leg-up to students who may be unable to afford a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves or their families.
Donations of non-perishable food items, cash or gift cards from Kroger, Smart & Final, Food4Less and Ralph’s will be accepted until Nov. 22.
Items for donation can be dropped off at the Social Science Division office in Room 1415 or at the FC food bank in Room 1955. Donation boxes may also be used and have been distributed throughout the campus.
The Fall Harvest Thanksgiving Food Drive distribution event will take place in parking lot A, on Tuesday, Nov. 26 around 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The food items will be distributed by both faculty members and volunteers.
The initial purpose of the drive 50 years ago was to service the entire Fullerton community but has since evolved into accommodating only a pre-qualified demographics of enrolled FC students.
This drive generally feeds just under 200 families over the Thanksgiving holiday and aims to continue combating food insecurity by starting at home, with the FC community.
Since its inception, the Fullerton Thanksgiving Food Drive has been presented by M.E.Ch.A., which promotes Chicanx unity through political activism.
Retired FC ethnic studies professor Gerald “Jerry” Padilla, was instrumental in starting this organization during his time in grad school at UCLA and 50 years later is still selflessly volunteering his time for the drive.
“What we’re doing is not just collecting food,” said Padilla. “We’re educating our youth in civic responsibility.”
Depending on the person, the meaning of Thanksgiving varies from a, four day weekend, pre-cursor to black Friday or a day to avoid spending time with relatives.
For many, however, it brings beloved friends and family members together to discuss successes, drawbacks and ultimately feast on lavish turkey dinners with all the trimmings.
In reality, for those at FC who suffer from food insecurity, this particular holiday is just one more obstacle to overcome.
The Ethnic Studies Department, along with the activist group M.E.Ch.A., advocates for FC students who experience this hardship and step in to alleviate those battling with hunger.
Most people have access to grocery stores to buy food to survive, but many do not have access to affordable healthy food.
Food insecurity is when someone is either unable to attain food when they need to or simply have to eat less because they can’t afford the cost. It can have major impacts on a person’s quality of life, which can result in physical and mental health concerns as well as poor school and work performance.
According to the California Association of Food Banks, one in eight Californians struggles with food insecurity, despite the fact the state produces almost half of the country’s fruits and vegetables.
For more information about the drive or if interested in volunteering for the event, call the Social Science Division Office at (714) 992-7047.