Packing Food for Families in Need

Brianne Galindo, Photographer

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Although the Downey community appears to be financially stable, there are always some people who still need help getting essentials that everyone should have. There are some people that want to help the ones that aren’t able to have things they need to support their families. On April 5, Downey Federal Credit Union hosted their sixth annual food packing event which took place in Warren High School’s gym.

 

For the past five years, Downey Federal Credit Union has been in charge and this year continued the tradition of “DFCU Cares Food Packing Event.” The event gave out meals to families within the community for not just families in Downey but food is also given out in surrounding cities as well.

 

During the last five years, volunteers have been able to pack over a total of 240,000 meals though this time, DFCU goal was to pack 60,000 meals.With the help of over 450 volunteers, DFCU was able to to pack 60,192 meals in total, exceeding the goal.

 

Different groups from DHS were a part in the event such as Girl’s Lacrosse and AVID 12, Natalie Flores, volunteered as a part of the senior AVID class who usually participate in various community service events. AVID students are required volunteer hours as a part of their grade, however, many of the students volunteer more than they are required to do.

 

“We always volunteer when we are able to,” Flores said, “With the food packing event, many of us were able to help other people instead of just worrying about ourselves.”

 

There were several tables within the gym for different groups to go to. Each person at the tables had a different job. One person held a bag above a funnel where the food would be placed and people would pour a certain amount of different food into the funnel, which were lentil beans, dried vegetables, rice, and salt which could all be combined when cooked. The person holding the bag would pass it onto one of the two people who would weight the package. One or two people would then seal the bag and pass it onto another person who would put a sticker on it and then someone would then put the bag into a box where many packages would be placed and eventually be distributed.

 

One of the volunteers Naomi Melgoza, 12, explained how she was a part of the process of the food packing.

 

“My job was to hold the bag below the funnel where the food would be poured,” Melgoza stated. “I had to work together with the others that were pouring other foods to be quick and effective to get as many bags filled that would be given out to those in need.”

 

DFCU partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit organization that hosts hunger projects and food packing events, and also allows families below the poverty line to order food on the website and app Full Cart.  With Full Cart, families are able to order fresh food that is delivered to their house, all they need to do is pay a shipping fee. The actual food is free, as it has been paid for by donations from Feeding Children Everywhere.

 

Senior Kaitlyn Pineda, a volunteer at the event, explained how partnering with Feeding Children Everywhere actually brought DFCU more towards their goal.

 

“Working with them [FCU] allowed people to see that DFCU was serious about reaching their goal,” Pineda said. “People who are very experienced with food packing events were able to help all of us.”

Everyone who helped out was able to help out a good cause that helps improve the lives of families who aren’t able to afford food. After such a successful event, DFCU will definitely host their annual food packing once again. It was an event where rather than just packing food,  people were able to be with their families while listening to music and having food together.