■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Approximately one out of every four children in Riverside County faces going hungry every night. One in four. Some will think about what they can do to help and move on with their day; others will take action. At Tahquitz High School, a group of students and staff spent their Saturday morning doing taking action and teamed up with Feeding America to hold a food drive and fundraiser to help end hunger in the San Jacinto Valley.
The April 15 event was coordinated by students and led by the school’s licensed family therapist, Jessica Oakes.
“A lot of times, food banks start to run out of the donations they received during the holidays,” she explained. “And in the summertime, they’re not really receiving a lot of donations, but the need is still there.”
Student Noe Moreno didn’t mind giving up his Saturday morning to help fulfill the need.
“I like giving to the community and helping others. I don’t really like being selfish,” said Moreno. “Plus, it’s better to help others, so that way you can improve the world and improve everyone’s perspective on everything.”
According to SaveTheFood.com, 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. each year never gets eaten. Instead of letting food spoil on pantry shelves, giving to the hungry among us just makes sense. And as the annual median income in our valley is lower than the state average, ($36,334 in Hemet and $48,119 in San Jacinto vs. $64,500 statewide), there is definitely a need for donations right here at home.
Tahquitz High School’s Junior ROTC washed cars for $5 and donated all proceeds to the food drive. And as these kids are preparing to one day defend our country, there was no car (or tow truck) too big for them to wash!
Tahquitz students and staff collected 623 pounds of food (around 648 items) for Feeding America of Riverside/San Bernardino over a five day time period. Oakes expresses her gratitude to those who donated.
“I am deeply touched by the generosity of our students and staff. On April 21, the last day of our food drive, we received over 293 donations alone! I had set a goal of collecting 300 items by Friday; however, we had reached that goal by Wednesday morning. We will definitely host another food drive in the future.”