- Author: Tammy Majcherek
In collaboration with Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, (140) highschool Freshman and chaperones from Whittier Christian School in Whittier, CA came to UC ANR South Coast REC, as part of their community service requirement. Each student at this grade level is expected to dedicate (10) hours of volunteerism for the school year. To help achieve this goal, the school works with local food banks such as Second Harvest to assist them with a variety of tasks associated with providing food to the hungry Orange County.
‘The fight against hunger is always a challenge', explained Nick Ayo, volunteer coordinator from Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, ‘especially to provide those in need with fresh fruits and vegetables. The fruits collected today will be washed and distributed across the county to young and old alike.'
Pairing up with Second Harvest creates a very unique situation: Second Harvest seeking opportunities to provide for the hungry, has the ability to pair large groups willing to harvest orchards, especially those where the fruit may otherwise go to waste; UC ANR South Coast REC is able to provide a nutritious food source for the less fortunate in the community through it's extension project largely maintained by volunteers which is used to educate the public through workshops and tours. Bringing the two groups together benefits the community by assisting the REC with additional man power to properly glean the citrus, important to the health of the trees, and provides Second Harvest with fresh produce to distribute at the food banks.
Though their time was short, an early tally of the gleaned fruit was 4,800 lbs. The youth and adult volunteers were very proud of the contributions to such a worthy cause.