Thanksgiving Bags for our Veterans

Larissa Morales

‘Tis the season for giving and that’s exactly what the Veteran Resource Center at Cerritos College is doing for this Thanksgiving holiday.

“This year we had a really difficult time with our veterans having food,” said Nancy Montgomery, Associate Dean of Health, Wellness & Veterans.

Despite the numerous programs that there are for veterans, many of them are finding a difficult time having enough money for food.

“This is for veterans who are really struggling right now,” said Glen Pena, a social work major who is also a ten year Marine veteran.

“Their G.I. Bill is just not cutting it and some of them have families and they just cannot afford it.”

The Veterans Resource Center and Montgomery plan to pass out the bags of food along with a $20 gift card to Stater Bros. grocery store.

There will be between forty to fifty bags that will be given out and the list has already begun to rise.

The operation is being taken discretely because many of the veterans are afraid to ask for help.

Johnathan Jones, a nursing major and a Navy veteran said that many veterans will not ask for help because many of them didn’t have to ask for assistance when they were in the service.

“I have mixed emotions about it. The majority of the emotions are good because of the simple fact of, you never know what anyone is going through whether they’re a student, whether they’re working so it’s a great idea, but I think there should be more flyers or something of that nature to post around.”

Montgomery said that veterans need to meet a certain requirement in order to receive the bags but did not say what the requirements were.

According to Pena, he was given the chance to help with the operation because he knows many of the veterans on a more personal level and knows the veterans who will need the assistance more than others.

“This came about because one of our region 8 colleges said that they had done it for their veterans and I thought ‘why are we not?’ so I called our staff and said we need to do this because our food needs are so great,” said Montgomery, “We have guys who haven’t eaten for days.”

The Public Affairs Department at Cerritos College donated the reusable Cerritos College bags that the food is going to be given out in.

Wednesday will be the day that people will come and help put the bags together and by the end of the week, the bags will be given out so that the veterans have enough time to buy the items they need for Thanksgiving.

The food that will be handed out was provided by the general food bank on campus and some food was also donated by Associated Students of Cerritos College.

“Our ASCC group on campus did a Zombie Walk and they had a canned drive that donated to our general food bank for the campus, and we use a special outside fund from the student health services, not the fee, and what we do is go and purchase more of that food and we go off of donations from the campus,” said Montgomery.