Food Drive to Help Feed Needy Glendale Families

Claudia Anaya

GCC is helping the Glendale Salvation Army, one of the many organizations that has been well-stocked in the past and is now being affected by the fall of the economy and loss of jobs to feed the disadvantaged people of Glendale.

Hard economic times have affected many families in California.

The 2007 Census stated that about 13 percent of Californians are impoverished.

“This is the first year we’re going to do the food drive to help restock the Salvation Army pantry,” said Jewel Price, dean of student services.

Jeanette Stirdivant, counselor and student services division chair had sent out an e-mail alerting faculty of the situation and wrote: “Due to financial constraints, this year the Salvation Army may not be able to provide families with any food boxes.”

“With the economy the way it is, so many people struggling, there’s not as much giving as there normally is,” said Price. “A lot of the non-profits that provide services to the poor are really struggling this year.”
According to the 2000 Census, 15.5 percent of Glendale’s population lives below the poverty level.

At the time of the 2000 Census, a four-person family was considered to be living below the poverty line if their annual income was less than $16,700.

Tzoler Oukayan, coordinator of student activities, said that their goal for a can drive is to reach 300 cans within the month but will continue to collect more until the end of the semester.

Cans can be dropped off at the student center, SC 201, where there will be containers as people walk in.

The cans collected will be used to feed the people of Glendale that have applied for food assistance from the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army will also be collecting items for food boxes that are given away during the holiday season that GCC will also be helping with.

The box will include:

One small canned ham
Two one-pound bags of rice
Two one-pound boxes of spaghetti
One 32 -ounce jar of jelly
Two 15-ounce cans of corn
One 15-ounce can fruit cocktail
Two 15-ounce cans of peaches
One 15-ounce can of peas
One 14.5-ounce can green beans
One 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans
One 24-ounce bottle of vegetable oil
One five-pound bag of sugar
One 64-oz bottle of juice

The goal is to “feed as many families as we can, give them a little extra food during Christmas,” said Rio Ray, captain of the Glendale chapter of the Salvation Army.

Ray said that last year they were able to feed 7,000 people throughout the year, just in Glendale, and were able to distribute 400 food boxes to needy families during the holiday season.

People go in on a monthly basis for food assistance and the food boxes are extra for the holiday season.

People can donate anything on the list.
“Everything is appreciated if someone can donate a box, it’s even better,” said Ray.

“People rejoice when they see jelly and things like that because it makes things a little easier for them it might seem like silly things to some, but to others who don’t have dinner that night they’re extra special things,” said Ray explaining some people’s reaction.

People have to qualify to receive food assistance and the food boxes.

The food assistance will help hungry families in the Glendale area.

“If you make a donation in Glendale, the food goes to the people of Glendale,” said Ray.

There are income guidelines but the Salvation Army takes into consideration circumstances such as large medical bills or people that have been recently laid off.

People who apply for food assistance “have to show ID and prove how many people are in their family,” said Ray.

The food given is based on family size.
Food boxes donated can be dropped off at the student center or at the Salvation Army located on Windsor and Central Avenue by Saturday, Nov. 15.

For those who don’t have time to shop but would like to help, donations of food cards from local markets for $30 through $50 can be made.

Those who have qualified pick up the food boxes at the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is always looking for volunteers to ring bells during the holiday season to raise money for the services that the Salvation Army provides all year round. For those interested in volunteering, they may contact Rio Ray at (818) 246-5586, ext. 133.