Warrior Food Pantry receives $10,000 grant


An El Camino College student peruses the racks at the Warrior Pantry on Friday, Oct. 18. The food pantry recently received a $10,000 grant from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, which will help purchase food items. David Odusanya/The Union

Editor’s Note: Janice Hahn’s title was corrected to Los Angeles County Supervisor. Quotes attributed to Communications Director Liz Odendahl were changed to paraphrasing to correctly represent information provided to The Union. 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the El Camino College Warrior Food Pantry to make sure that pantry shelves are filled with food items and help students in times of need, officials said.

Liz Odendahl, communications director for Hahn, said the Supervisor is concerned with the growing insecurity of food and homelessness at community colleges.

Supervisor Hahn does not want students to have to choose between continuing their studies and having enough money to afford food and shelter, Odendahl said.

Odendahl also added that Supervisor Hahn hopes that filling the shelves of the Warrior Food Pantry will mean students will have one less thing to worry about so they can focus on their studies.

Chris De La Cruz, a student services specialist at ECC’s Student Development Office, said the pantry is taking the steps that it needs with the grant to expand and stock up on more fresh produce.

“The money will be spread out to purchase food supplies from different wholesale stores with a focus on healthier snacks and items,” Cruz said.

The pantry stocks up on food items such as sun chips, granola bars, Cup Noodles, can vegetables and healthy snacks. It is trying to bring in fresh produce items that are recommended from the students who go to the food pantry.

This impacts students at ECC because they now know that there is a support system in place focused on their well-being, Cruz said.

“It is going to allow us to purchase food items that students like,” Cruz said. “It’s great to have people that really support the visions and dreams of students at El Camino College.”

There has been an increase in the number of students that have come to the food pantry since previous years, Cruz said.

“There were 122 students that came in one day,” Cruz said. “So, there has been an increase in the number of people and they are starting to know that we have a pantry on campus that can help them.

Caesar Castillo, mechanical engineering major, has been going to the food pantry for three years.

“The Warrior Pantry has helped me a lot because anytime I’m hungry and want to get something to eat before my afternoon classes, I come here,” Castillo said.

Castillo sees a growing number of people that come to the pantry every day he is there.

Updated headline Friday, Oct. 25, at 4:15 p.m. for clarification.