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Palomar Community unites for food drive


Palomar College staff and administrators gathered on Nov. 20 to distribute food to members of the community in a holiday food distribution.

With help from The San Diego and Imperial Valley Labor Council, volunteers successfully gave out 400 turkeys, 100 frozen chickens, as well as canned and boxed goods and fresh produce.

Along with fundraising, the event was made possible by several donations made by organizations such as The Palomar Foundation, which donated $5000 alone. As well as The Council of Classified Employees (CCE), donating $2000.

“…we also collected 358 toys from our faculty, staff, and administration. Those (the toys) went to the Labor Council to distribute to needy county-wide families at Christmas time,” said Palomar Economics professor Barbara Baer, in an interview via email.

Baer serves as Co-President for the Palomar Faculty Federation, and said PFF was also able to make a $5000 donation to the food distribution fundraiser, and fellow board members attended to help with the distribution, including Trustee Roberto Rodriguez.

Superintendent and President of Palomar College Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey also made an appearance, showing her support and spirit by dressing up as a turkey.

When asked about a moment that left an impact on her, Baer mentions the response from the community.

“I am always so amazed at how grateful people are. After waiting for an hour or more in a parking lot for a turkey and sides they thanked the volunteers so profusely…I was out with the signs on West Mission Road for a while, and people were honking or waving at us.”

The 2020 Thanksgiving food distribution was well received, and Palomar College faculty decided to continue the event for this year. It is unsure whether or not it will continue.

“A lot depends on our community’s need,” said Baer, when asked about plans for future holiday food drives.

Giving Tuesday, another event hosted throughout November, is designed to assist students with textbook costs, scholarships, and emergency grants with contributions from local donors.

“The 2022/2023 Palomar College Foundation application for scholarships will be available in January 2022. Students who are in need of textbook assistance and emergency grants can visit the Student Resource Page on the Palomar College Foundation website,” said Julie Lanthier Bandy, Director of Public Affairs at Palomar College, in an email interview.

Despite there not being any events planned currently for December or January, Lanthier Bandy encourages students to contact The Anita and Stan Maag Food and Nutrition Center. Although it remains physically closed, operators of the food pantry post regularly with resources for students.

These resources include local programs and events, such as county-wide food drives, links to CalFresh benefits, and how to apply for food stamps.

With the end of the semester and the new year right around the corner, fundraisers and programs like these are important to provide the best environment for the students of Palomar and their communities.

“The events were an absolute success and I am proud of the commitment made by our Palomar community to support the needs of the region,” said Palomar College President/Superintendent, Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey.

Visit the Palomar College website to see more information on upcoming events, and financial resources for students this holiday season.

Image Sources

  • Dr Star in holiday spirit!: Debbie Forward | Used With Permission
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