Festival presents students with services, programs and food for Thanksgiving


Students line up and sign in to the Harvest Festival near the Student Services Building on Tuesday, Nov.19. They received a paper to fill up with stickers available at the booths they visited during the event. Viridiana Flores/The Union

Students eagerly gathered outside the Student Services Building at El Camino College to visit different service booths to receive Thanksgiving meal kits at the Warrior Harvest Festival on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The Basic Needs Tasks Force helped coordinate the event with student service programs such as the Warrior Pantry, Warrior Pop Up Closet and Cal Fresh.

“I think the main benefit of an event such as today’s [is] a lot of these students, including myself, struggle financially,” Nathan Moore, welding major, told The Union. “For the school to do something like this as far as give students material to have a Thanksgiving is really helpful.”

Moore said that the festival was really helpful and explained how it will allow many students to celebrate Thanksgiving who otherwise would not be able to.

In order to receive the meal kits, students must sign up and qualify for the Cal Fresh program if not currently enrolled.

Cal Fresh is a government support program that helps students buy healthy foods. Ricky Gonzales, student services specialist and a member of the Basic Needs Task Force, said students who qualify for financial aid are eligible for the Cal Fresh program.

The meal kits included a turkey, mashed potatoes, cream, green beans, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese and utensils, Shauntay Mccarthy, anthropology and American sign language double-major, said.

The Warrior Pantry also provided food bags for those who attended the event. Companies that helped sponsor this event included grocery stores of Food4Less and Ralphs to cover the cost of meal kits.

Other resources provided at the fair included 1736 Family Crisis Center and A3M, a registry service for stem cell and bone marrow donations.

1736 Family Crisis Center provides free family services to low-income families and homeless youth throughout the South Bay area.

“We work on the streets covering this city helping homeless youth get connected whether through education, jobs, stuff like that,” said Joshua Rivera, street outreach member of the 1736 Family Crisis Center.

Jazmean Tindall, childcare major, said she signed up for the Warrior Pantry at the event and explained how the meal helps during the holiday season.

“Helping out those who might need a little extra help this holiday season, especially with the meal planning because money does get tight around the holiday season,” Tindall said. “It helps to get a free meal.”

The Warrior Pantry is located in the Physics Building in Room 116. More information is available on the ECC’s website: https://www.elcamino.edu/student/studentservices/warriorpantry/