By Jane Fernandez
Thanksgiving is more than two months away, but some Elans are already working to help collect enough food to feed many low-income families. The Feminist Club and the East Los Angeles College Students for Political Awareness, ESPA, joined together on Friday to host a canned food drive for low-income families for Thanksgiving.
“Children are waking up hungry and going to sleep hungry, the only food they get is at school,” said Esperanza Ortega, president of ESPA and a member of the Feminist Club.
Ortega, who started the drive and got the two clubs involved, read an article in a local newspaper, the Montebello Comet, about starving families in Los Angeles County.
“This is why we’re doing this. That’s what’s going on,” she said referring to the article.
The newspaper article’s story inspired club members and provided more reasons to want to work hard toward their goal of feeding 100 families and of raising $100 to give along with the food.
“We wanted to do an event that impacted the community in a positive way, more than just inside of school,” said Samantha Hess, a member of the Feminist Club.
This is the first time either of the clubs participated in such an event. Both clubs said they would like to do more fundraisers and take part on making a difference.
“I’m excited to be doing this event, I want to get more included in the community,” said Angie Rincon, president of the Feminist Club.
The clubs are planning on participating in drives twice a year, in the spring and fall semesters. They said they would also like to do a toys-for-tots type of event, after the canned food drive. Ortega said she found the food drive to be too large to organize on her own. She sought help from the Los Angeles National Food Bank. There, she was given boxes and fliers to help organize the event.
“I’m glad they have hearts and care about people that are in need, and I’m glad to be part of this,” said Ricardo Garcia, Feminist Club guest.
Garcia, along with others who attended, either donated canned food or $1 at the entrance to make the goal possible. Local restaurants also did their part and contributed to the event. ToGo’s Sandwiches donated a family size sandwich and Carl’s Jr. donated gift cards that were then raffled, after Ortega had a talk with the restaurants’ managers.
“We told them the community gave them a lot of business and it was time to give back,” said Ortega.
Space for the event was provided by a Feminist Club family member. Members of both clubs provided food and refreshments for the guests, as well as goody-bags, which were handed out to everyone who attended. The event raised $57 and over 400 cans of food were donated.
“This is going to help a lot of people and it will make us feel good to be part of change and help,” said Cathy Rincon, Feminist Club member and Angie’s sister.
Although the clubs did not raise $100, as they hoped, they are expecting to raise more cans.
“Overall, we are satisfied with what we gathered and hope to gather even more cans around campus,” said Angie.
Students who would like to donate and help the clubs can do so by dropping off canned or dry food products at the Feminist club meeting on Thursdays in E3-114 at 12:15p.m. Drop-off boxes will be around campus at every department or at the Associated Student Union’s office.