New semester. New faces. And literally a half-ton of free food for all.
The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society held its first food drive of the school year Aug. 27, drawing a flock of both students and non-students to gather under the looming oaks between Plover and Emeritus Hall.
“We brought 1000 pounds of food today,” said Santa Rosa Junior College Student Trustee, Robert Edmonds. “(We feed) anybody who is hungry. We let them take as much as they need, we don’t limit them to how much they can take, and we allow them to be self courteous and pick for themselves.”
The Honor Society began the food drive in spring 2013, giving away from 400-1500 pounds of food each time.
“We started it all last semester,” said former Associated Student President Jessica Jones. “Phi Theta Kappa has an account with the Redwood Empire Food Bank, it was only $46 for 1000 pounds of food today.”
A sizable group of students came and took full advantage of the drive.
“I am a full-time student, and I am not working at all. So I saw the signs and came over,” said Santa Rosa Junior College Student Shaleena Gibson. “There were a bunch of great healthy and gluten free choices, my financial aid hasn’t come yet, so it’s really nice to have some help.”
Healthy and gluten free options were only two choices out of a wide variety of food. Students and non-students had choices of bread, sweets, tortillas and vegetables.
In addition to the selections of food, the food bank provided necessities such as paper towels, toilet paper and other utilities for anyone in need.
SRJC student Alyssa Jayne showed up with the intention of feeding more than just herself.
“I have been working all semester to pay for school, and I have to drive my boyfriend and friend here everyday,” Jayne said. “I saw the signs as I was heading to the cafeteria from my class. I am usually the one feeding them, so something like this is very helpful.”
Once the food drive ends, Edmonds and the rest of the Honor Society give the unclaimed food to different organizations so the food doesn’t go to waste.
“Generally it all gets taken, but if there is anything left, we generally give it to EOPS (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services) and CalWorks,” Edmonds said. “They usually give the rest away, so the food is never wasted.”
The food drive plans to keep its current location, and the next one takes place Sept. 3.