Allan Hancock College has marked the one-year anniversary of its emergency food distribution program.
To date, the program has provided food to hundreds of thousands of community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Santa Maria college program’s anniversary was on Thursday.
“We are very proud to have changed the odds for our community by providing much-needed food during a very challenging time,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers.
“We are thankful for the staff, student ambassadors and volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure this program continued to provide this critical community service over the past 12 months,” Dr. Walthers said in a news release.
In March 2020, Hancock expanded its commitment to fighting food insecurity during the pandemic by providing pre-bagged produce and nonperishable food to any member of the public twice per week at its Santa Maria campus. The food was provided by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. It was bagged and distributed by Hancock student ambassadors, staff and college volunteers.
To date, the program has provided food to 79,179 local households and a total of 358,603 individuals as of Thursday.
“As we watched the numbers of people who showed up to get food grow, we knew there was a clear need in our community during the pandemic,” said Stephanie Robb, the program coordinator and the Hancock Director of Student Activities and Outreach. “All of our student workers and volunteers agree that it truly feels great to give back and help people with such an important, basic need.”