Feeding the Future. For Rotary Club of Long Beach this phrase brings to mind the constant and continuous struggle food insecure and homeless College Students face and our commitment to offer support to help alleviate their basic needs challenges.
We started in October 2019 with a Grab-and-Go project. We were successful in providing meals for 1500 food insecure students at Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. Plans to repeat this event had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and precautions. Knowing the need for food was growing for this student population, Rotarians pivoted and created a contact-less, drive-up Food Drive at the two campuses. The participation in the Food Drive was incredible and the results were outstanding! Over 300 Volunteers and Donors attended the event on Saturday, October 24th. Outreach to the Community, from corporate to individuals, resulted in hundreds more participating by way of food collections at offices, friends and neighbors donating goods, and monetary donations from those who supported the cause but couldn’t attend. Over 1000 bags equating to almost 10,000 lbs. in non-perishable and hygiene items were collected. The spotlight on food insecurity was widespread and impactful. Feedback from the schools, Rotarians and Community members was overwhelmingly positive.
The Food Drive effectively carried the message of caring and support. Many will continue to donate and actively give to the Schools’ Basic Needs programs. And Rotary Club of Long Beach will continue with our commitment, already planning a Grab-and-Go event for Spring 2021.