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Warrior Pantry receives over 500 lbs. of food from El Segundo Middle School students

Some+of+the+nonperishable+food+items+collected+by+El+Segundo+Middle+School+eighth+graders+Herason+Wang%2C+Giselle+Chasez%2C+and+Olivia+Jamner+to+donate+to+the+Warrior+Food+Pantry.+Photo+credit%3A+Emma+DiMaggio
Some of the nonperishable food items collected by El Segundo Middle School eighth graders Herason Wang, Giselle Chasez, and Olivia Jamner to donate to the Warrior Food Pantry. Photo credit: Emma DiMaggio

Some of the nonperishable food items collected by El Segundo Middle School eighth graders Herason Wang, Giselle Chasez, and Olivia Jamner to donate to the Warrior Food Pantry. Photo credit: Emma DiMaggio

Some of the nonperishable food items collected by El Segundo Middle School eighth graders Herason Wang, Giselle Chasez, and Olivia Jamner to donate to the Warrior Food Pantry. Photo credit: Emma DiMaggio

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The Warrior Pantry received a donation of over 500 pounds of food and toiletries from El Segundo Middle School students on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The food pantry debuted last October as a resource for students facing food insecurity.

“Having this kind of food helps a lot. We never thought we’d have this many resources,” Andrew Leon, Student Equity Adviser Council co-chair and student worker for the Warrior Pantry, said. “It’s going to affect a lot of students as well as a lot of families, because of lot of students feed their families with the food in here.”

The girls that organized the donation were eighth grade students Herason Wang, Giselle Chasez, and Olivia Jamner, who all attend El Segundo Middle School.

“Food insecurity, or not knowing where your next meal is going to come from, is often associated with the homeless or the very poor,” Chasez said. “We were surprised to know that students at the college level are often affected by hunger.”

All El Segundo Middle School students are tasked with an eighth grade community service project, led by a mentor.

“It went from something small to Herason’s whole kitchen and whole living room being full of all these supplies,” Melissa Gooden, principal of El Segundo Middle School and mentor to the students, said. “We’re really proud.”

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From left to right, Dena Maloney, president of El Camino College, Suzanne Fuentes, mayor of the city of El Segundo, Melissa Gooden, principal of El Segundo Middle School, Herason Wang, Olivia Jamner, Giselle Chasez, and Ali Raviei, assistant principal of El Segundo Middle School. Photo credit: Emma DiMaggio

The goal of the project, which began last October, was to collect 500 pounds of non-perishables and toiletries.

The three girls exceeded this goal after contacting Chicken of the Sea to ask if they were interested in donating.

“They said they’d be happy to help,” Jamner said. “We had no idea they would give us 100 pounds of items.”

The girls were “extremely satisfied” to have been able to collect so many donations in such a short period of time, Chasez said.

“We didn’t think we’d collect so much food so fast,” Wang said. “It’s definitely overwhelming, but we’re very proud that we’ve collected this much.”

This donation marks the second large donation to the Warrior Pantry this month.

Leon said that they received a 600 pound donation from a local Boy Scout troop just a week before.

The storage racks in the pantry are overfilled, and more racks are being purchased to accommodate the now 1000 to 1500 pounds of food they have, Leon said.

On top of the food, the Warrior Pantry has raised $43,000 since its opening, Bryant Odega, Academic Student Organization (ASO) director of academic affairs and Inter-Club Council Commissioner of Diversity, said.

All of this stands in stark contrast to the worries that food pantry representatives had before debuting.

“Honestly, it’s such a blessing, because I remember last semester we were struggling to find money,” Odega said.

Other representatives are surprised at how much the Warrior Pantry has grown in such a short time period.

“I never would think it would’ve got to this,” Leon said. “I always had fears that it would be too small, that we wouldn’t get a lot of food and that we’d have to ask ASO for more money to buy food.”

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Warrior Food Pantry receptacles holding donations collected by El Segundo Middle Schools. Photo credit: Emma DiMaggio

Now, the Warrior Pantry provides food for 30 to 40 students weekly, Odega said, “Overall, we’ve helped at least 300 students, and through them, 1000 households.”

The donation from the El Segundo Middle School students will make a difference in how many students the Warrior Pantry will be able to provide service to.

“We have students of all demographics come,” Leon said. “Because everyone needs a little help.”

Campus representatives are also taking notice of the donation.

“When we have projects like this, that bring a community group together to support students, that’s going to make a difference for our students as they go through their college education,” Dena Maloney, president and superintendent of El Camino College, said. “We are all so very grateful.”

The Warrior Pantry is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Physics Building, Room 116. Students are only required to show an El Camino ID card to be allowed access to the pantry.

Correction: Saturday, March 3, 1: 56 p.m., Changes were made in the story for clarity. Corrections and additions to names were also added. The Union regrets these errors.

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About the Writer
Emma DiMaggio, Senior Staff Writer
Emma DiMaggio is a senior staff writer for The Union, previously arts and news editor. This is her third semester on the newspaper. Her interest is piqued by all things philosophy, astronomy, and NPR. Her heart lies in informative writing and her goal is to help create a more inclusive and representative media industry..
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Warrior Pantry receives over 500 lbs. of food from El Segundo Middle School students