SMC, City of Santa Monica, Boys & Girls Club and more come together for Tuesday event
By Chad Winthrop
This week, Santa Monica institutions and community organizations joined together and distributed groceries for a complete Thanksgiving meal at no cost to 1,455 members of the Santa Monica community and SMC students.
On Tuesday, the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica College (SMC), the SMC Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, and Community Corporation of Santa Monica distributed the Thanksgiving feast boxes at SMC’s main campus through a contactless drive-thru-style pick up made possible by over 200 volunteers. Each grocery box included a whole turkey, fresh produce, dinner rolls, non-alcoholic beverages and a pumpkin pie.
“Even by the most conservative estimates, the number of households without dependable access to nutritious food has, at the very least, doubled,” said Santa Monica College President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, “and according to a Spring 2020 survey run by The Hope Center, 44 percent among two-year college students are struggling with food insecurity. Behind those numbers are real people, members of our communities. This joint effort to positively impact students and families during a pandemic is just one way to help replace their stress and anxiety with some joy.”
The event was held as COVID-19 cases continue to rise dramatically in Los Angeles County, and students and families who were already dealing with food insecurity grapple with the economic effects of the pandemic. The event sponsors were: Associated Students of Santa Monica College, Costco Culver City, Danone Foods, Everytable, GoGo Squeeze, Kiwanis Santa Monica, Jacmar Food Service Distribution, Not Impossible Labs, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Suja Juice, The Butter End Cakery, Verizon, Vicente Foods, Vintage Grocers, Westside Food Bank and Whole Foods Market.
In addition, the City of Santa Monica is encouragiong members of the public to continue the spirit of giving by making a donation to the Virginia Avenue Park food pantry to support Santa Monica families facing food insecurity throughout the holiday season. To donate visit calfund.org/wearesantamonica and select HOLIDAY FOOD PANTRY under Area of Support.
“if there ever was a time to give, it is now,” said Margaret Sohagi, the SMC Foundation’s newly elected Board Chair. “It is hard—nearly impossible—for those among us who may not suffer from food insecurity to imagine just how painful and demoralizing it is,” said Sohagi. “It behooves us to come together to help our neighbors. I am so proud to be part of a community that cares!”