Nov. 24, 2020
1,455 Students and Families Receive Thanksgiving Groceries
Santa Monica College, SMC Foundation & City of Santa Monica Today Provided Thanksgiving Groceries to 1,455 Food-Insecure Families and Students
SANTA MONICA, CA—Earlier today, Santa Monica institutions and community organizations joined together in the “We Are Santa Monica” spirit to ensure food insecure students and families would have a delicious and nutritious meal this Thanksgiving. 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 groceries for a complete Thanksgiving meal at no cost to 1,455 members of the Santa Monica community and SMC students.
The Thanksgiving feast boxes were distributed at SMC’s main campus through a contactless drive-thru-style pick up made possible by over 200 volunteers who—with smiles under face coverings and face shields—worked to ensure a safe experience for all participants. Each grocery box included a whole turkey, fresh produce, dinner rolls, non-alcoholic beverages, and a pumpkin pie.
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 hosting agencies, along with the following sponsors, hope that this food support helps provide some relief:
- Associated Students of Santa Monica College
- Costco Culver City
- Danone Foods
- GoGo Squeeze
- Kiwanis Santa Monica
- Jacmar Food Service Distribution
- Not Impossible Labs
- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
- Suja Juice
- The Butter End Cakery
- Vicente Foods
- Vintage Grocers
- Westside Food Bank
- Whole Foods Market
The City of Santa Monica invites 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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.