Pierce should give away free meals to the homeless

Pierce should give away free meals to the homeless

With the holidays here, and colleges are vacant due to COVID-19, it is time to consider how Pierce College can aid homeless communities in the area. 

Pierce has been vacant since March making it the perfect place to host a food drive or simply distribute food to the less fortunate.

It is understandable that some individuals have concerns regarding safety, as we are still in the middle of a pandemic. 

While distributing the food, students will be masked and socially distanced and everything would take place outdoors in order to ensure everyone’s safety. 

The University of Vermont had similar safety concerns when they began feeding neighboring homeless communities, however, they have  been “wearing masks and gloves, [and] the group gives out individually-packaged meals from a downtown parking garage,” which is overall safe for those involved. 

In April, Hampshire College opened their residence hall as a temporary homeless shelter for those recovering from coronavirus. 

Various other colleges have managed to lend the less fortunate a helping hand and out their empty campus to great use. 

Pierce could potentially host food drives, allowing people to donate food and clothes while getting a chance to help out in their community. 

EdSource reveals that “California’s escalating cost of living has led to a 48% surge in the state’s homeless student population,” meaning some of Pierce’s own students may be facing or is homelessness. 

Joseph Bishop, the director of UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools, said, “We knew the numbers would be up, but we were surprised at the scope and severity of the crisis.”

Pierce has the chance to lend a hand to so many individuals in need, as this pandemic has left thousands without jobs, money for rent, or even virus resources. 

Organizing events to feed the less fortunate will not only not only motivate Pierce students to want to better their community, but it may very well help out our own struggling students. 

According to a Gund Graduate Fellow, from the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, “gathering and contact is normally one of the most important parts of sharing food, so it’s objectively less fun to share food right now … but it’s objectively more important.”