Food Pantry drive-thru provides for students amidst COVID-19 crisis

From left, Equity Department employees Alondra Lazaro and Juwan Vega work the drive-through food drive line on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 on the West Campus roundabout at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Lazaro took specific orders and asked questions for a survey while Vega and other employees bagged items for drivers and walk-up students.

Jun Starkey, Editor-in-Chief

More than 100 cars came out for City College’s Food Pantry drive-thru Wednesday, to receive bags of food items provided by the Santa Barbara Food Bank.

The first of its kind event was carried out by Food Pantry workers donned in gloves and masks, who managed the long lines, took students’ info and carefully packed bags. 

This is the first time the pantry has been able to provide food directly to students since City College shifted to online classes mid-March.

 “I’ve been avoiding grocery stores,” said City College nursing student Abigail Foster. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the recent shelter at home order, there has been a sense of panic across the country regarding the availability of food and supplies. This has led to grocery stores adopting new policies, such as limiting the number of people in the store at a time and enforcing social distance between all customers. 

“Getting food is a day long event now, I don’t have time,” Foster said. 

Although the pantry has not announced any future events, the large turnout at the drive-thru may speak to the need for the college to provide for students struggling with food insecurity during this pandemic.