From food distributions to raising money to support students in need, Palomar College swings into Thanksgiving mode with a month full of opportunities to give back.

SAN MARCOS — With the approach of Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, Palomar College has provided a variety of ways to give back to the campus community and the larger North County region this month.

“The Palomar College community is so generous, and with the holidays around the corner, we have still more opportunities to support our students and the community at large during this time of ongoing need,” said Palomar College Superintendent/President Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey.

Holiday Turkey and Food Distribution: Nov. 20

On Saturday, Nov. 20, members of the Palomar Faculty Federation (PFF) and Council of Classified Employees (CCE), in collaboration with the Palomar College Foundation and Labor Council of San Diego & Imperial Counties, will host a food distribution event on campus.

The drive-through, contactless event will provide local residents with 50 pounds of food per car, including Thanksgiving turkeys purchased by the labor unions and Foundation, as well as perishables and canned goods provided by Feeding San Diego.

Teresa Laughlin, Co-President of PFF, said the food giveaway “is for anybody in the community—students and other community members who have the need.”

“We’re trying to make it so you can put together a really nice Thanksgiving dinner using what’s in the boxes,” said Laughlin. “Feeding San Diego goes all-out for Thanksgiving, so it’s usually quite a nice food distribution.”

“They say that the greatness of a community is measured by the action of its members, and I think the Palomar College community definitely meets that standard,” said CCE President Anel Gonzalez. “CCE is proud to be part of coming together to help our students and community.”

Added Laughlin: “There’s always a need to help during the holiday season. This will give those in our community who are food-insecure the opportunity to have a turkey dinner.”

The food distribution event will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 20 in Parking Lot 12 at Palomar College. Enter the campus at the Comet Circle entrance on West Mission Road and follow the signs to Lot 12. Supplies of food and Thanksgiving turkeys will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pack the Pantry, a Virtual Food Drive

In keeping with the Thanksgiving focus on food insecurity, Palomar is participating in a regional food drive called “Pack the Pantry,” organized by California Coast Credit Union and the San Diego Food Bank, aimed at stocking the pantries of San Diego-area community colleges, including the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center at Palomar College.

By some estimates, half of all community college students face food insecurity as a result of the need for reliable, consistent access to food—a crisis that typically leads to missing classes or dropping out.

This is the 3rd annual Pack the Pantry, which is also supported by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, and whereas in its first year the food drive collected food as well as monetary donations, this year the event will only accept “virtual” contributions.

“Students everywhere continue to be among those most heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Rivera-Lacey. “Here at Palomar, the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center continues to serve the needs of our students and employees. Pack the Pantry is a great opportunity to support this important work.”

Donations toward the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center at Palomar College may be made by visiting “Pack the Pantry” online.

“The need for access to nutritious food is more important than ever for students, and Cal Coast encourages other area companies and the general public to join us as we help local students who are experiencing hunger,” said Cal Coast President & CEO Todd Lane.

Giving Tuesday

In advance of the long Thanksgiving weekend, the Palomar College Foundation will launch its annual Giving Tuesday campaign on November 15, providing donors with the opportunity to change lives through education.

The campaign leads up to the global day of giving on Tuesday, November 30. Every donation made during the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous local donor, doubling the impact of each contribution.

“Giving Tuesday is a fantastic way to directly support the success of Palomar College students by furthering the work of our incredible Foundation,” said Dr. Rivera-Lacey.

This global day of giving harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage giving and celebrate generosity worldwide. At Palomar College, funds donated to the Foundation on Giving Tuesday help provide scholarships, textbook assistance and emergency grants.

Specific details on the Giving Tuesday event will be available on the Palomar College Foundation website in the coming weeks.