Cerritos College hosts first food drive of 2021

Various students and community members participate in the good giveaway at Cerritos College.  In lot 10 on the college campus Jan. 27, 2021.

Jacqueline Cochran/TM

Various students and community members participate in the good giveaway at Cerritos College. In lot 10 on the college campus Jan. 27, 2021.

Jacqueline Cochran, News Editor

Cerritos College’s Falcons Nest in conjunction with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank hosted a free food giveaway for Cerritos College Students and members of the surrounding local communities on Wednesday Jan. 27.

Between 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. volunteers and college staff followed strict social distancing protocols for the drive-thru food giveaway by placing the boxes in the rear of the recipients vehicles.

The recipients stayed in their vehicles and received the items within five minutes after pulling up. The volunteers used pompoms to help guide the flow of the recipient traffic.

Recipients receive a frozen meat, diary items such as milk, cheese and eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables and a box of dry items for the pantry which include canned and boxed foods.

“The items total 30-80 pounds of food support for the participants,” Sepulveda said.

“This program is a godsend for my family. After the pandemic got worst, I was laid off from my job. I did receive unemployment but it just wasn’t enough.

We have three children and they are all growing and love to eat,” said Shari Grace, a Bellflower resident.

“Since July 2020 we have served 7,631 households and due to the pandemic the numbers are growing. We are currently calculating the totals for January now,” said Pamela Sepulveda, LCSW Case Manager for Falcons Basic Needs.

“We have about 60 volunteers, made up of faculty, staff, students and community members.

During the distribution of the food, the volunteers also gather certain statistical information about each household like size and number of households being served,” Sepulveda said.

LA Regional Food bank is the sole supplier for the monthly food giveaway. “Our campus also provides weekly food and hygiene supplies for students through Falcons Nest,” Sepulveda said.

In February, Falcons Nest will also host a ‘Hearts for Hygiene’ drive. “We welcome food and hygiene item donations. We try to do as much as we can to help our students.

A web-based wish list will be released soon, but in the meantime, anyone who wishes to make donations can contact me at [email protected],” said Sepulveda.

Falcons Nest’s main goal is to provide centralized student support services for any students that might be facing basic needs insecurities. There are no specific requirements to participate in the food drive.

For students who might need more than food assistance, Cerritos also has the Emergency Aid Fund, Franco’s Closet and CalFresh.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer, can email Falcon’s Nest at [email protected]

The food drive takes place the fourth Wednesday of every month with the next scheduled for February 24, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.