Alleviating food insecurity

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

Donate time, money, food to those in need

As cold weather and the holiday season approach, The Editorial Board asks that UC Davis students, faculty and community members consider donating food and other essential items to those who need them most.

Davis has a 15 percent hunger rate, according to an official in Yolo County’s Department of Health and Human Services. This is a massive number made all the more relevant due to the fact that UC Davis students comprise roughly half of the city’s population.

This is not a new problem for the city of Davis; university, city and county programs have been established in previous years to push back against food insecurity.

One such program is the Holiday Food Drive hosted by UC Davis Mail Services. This program will run through Friday, Nov. 17 and is an opportunity for ASUCD units to donate food — canned or otherwise — to the Yolo Food Bank.

ASUCD units exist to serve the UC Davis community, and The Editorial Board calls for each organization to participate in this effort. No donation is too small, and every contribution has the potential to help. A list of suggested foods and items to donate is available here.

On an individual level, there are other ways for UC Davis students to get involved. One such opportunity is to donate meal swipes to the ASUCD Pantry, Aggie Meal Share or the Yolo Food Bank. During the 2016-2017 academic year, donations to the UC Davis Swipe Out Hunger program totaled over $30,000 and were used to purchase food and other necessities for those in need. Dollar amounts via Aggie Cash, cash or credit card are also accepted at any location operated by Student Housing and Dining Services. This drive will take place during the second half of the month, from Nov. 15 to 30.

If financial donations are not feasible, volunteer opportunities take many forms, and there is a place for anyone who wishes to give their time to the community.

More than 35,000 people experience food insecurity in Yolo County, according to the Yolo Food Bank. If participating in donation drives or volunteer events helps to alleviate that number, even for a moment, then the effort is worth it.

The Editorial Board knows that not everyone at UC Davis is able to donate, which is why it is even more important for those who are able to do so. We have no doubt that the Davis community will come together to contribute to a secure, meaningful and inclusive holiday season. A collective movement of small efforts, no matter the time of year, can have a large impact on others’ lives and situations.

Written By: The California Aggie Editorial Board