October 30, 2020 3:30 PM
This Thanksgiving, Santa Monica families and Santa Monica College (SMC) students struggling with food insecurity will have one less thing to worry about. SMC, the SMC Foundation, the City of Santa Monica through its “We are Santa Monica” initiative, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, and Community Corporation of Santa Monica will be giving away free Thanksgiving groceries for a complete feast, to families and students in need.
“This Thanksgiving, we have an opportunity to lift up local families in need and remember the joy that generosity and gratitude bring,” said Santa Monica’s Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “Santa Monica thrives when we help each other. This is one of many chances to give in a year when we must, more than ever before, come together as a community.”
The drive-thru GIVING THANKS(giving) holiday pantry will take place from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 24, 2020 on SMC’s main campus. This event is not open to the general public and families/individuals are required to make advanced reservations through the participating organizations. It is expected that up to 1,500 families and students will be served. Groceries to be distributed include a fresh turkey apiece, fresh produce, dinner rolls, non-alcoholic beverages, and a pumpkin pie.
SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery noted that COVID-19 has deeply impacted households and college students who were already struggling with food insecurity.
“Even by the most conservative estimates, the number of households without dependable access to nutritious food has, at the very least, doubled,” said 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.”
Margaret Sohagi, the SMC Foundation’s newly elected Board Chair, noted that “if there ever was a time to give, it is now.” “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!”
Tafari Alan, SMC Associated Students president, said that she felt “grateful and cared for” by the individuals doing amazing work to support the community. Alan called out The SMC Foundation in particular, for providing much-needed basic needs support to SMC students. “Associated Students enthusiastically supports this Giving Thanks(giving) food drive and we are looking forward to the date as it approaches!” Alan said.
The event’s sponsors include:
- Associated Students of Santa Monica College,
- Costco Culver City
- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
- The Butter End Cakery
- Vicente Foods
- Vintage Grocers
- Westside Food Bank
- Whole Foods Market
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