Unified We Serve displays donations on the steps of the Oviatt Library

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Volunteers lined up non-perishable goods, clothing and toys across the Oviatt Library steps to represent the large amount of donations CSUN has raised. This years clothing and food drive was co-sponsored by Unified We Serve and Community Engagement. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Volunteers lined up non-perishable goods, clothing and toys across the Oviatt Library steps to represent the large amount of donations CSUN has raised. This years clothing and food drive was co-sponsored by Unified We Serve and Community Engagement. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

For those living below poverty or working with a low income, a well-balanced meal may be a luxury. One cannot truly comprehend the value of a can of beans or a hand-me-down sweater unless one has also experienced poverty. Donated food and clothing can make a tremendous difference in a persons well-being.

Based on a study in August 2013 from The Public Policy Institute in California, low income households made up over 16% of the population in 2011, and this number is on the rise.

Student volunteers help set up for the Unified We Serve and Community Engagement clothing and food drive Commemorative Ceremony on Nov. 13. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Student volunteers help set up for the Unified We Serve and Community Engagement clothing and food drive Commemorative Ceremony on Nov. 13. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

CSUN’s Unified We Serve (UWS), a volunteer program offered by the Matador Involvement Center and Community Engagement (CE), a service learning department, partnered their volunteers and held their annual Clothing and Canned Food Drive from Nov. 4 to Nov. 13. The donations raised are given to Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those living in poverty and to lead them toward self-reliance and financial stability.

Richard Weinroth, foodbank director and executive chef of Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND), said that he was greatful for all the hard work that CSUN put into the clothing and food drive. All of the donations raised were given to MEND, an organization focused on helping impoverished people and families. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez

Richard Weinroth, foodbank director and executive chef of Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND), said that he was greatful for all the hard work that CSUN put into the clothing and food drive. All of the donations raised were given to MEND, an organization focused on helping impoverished people and families. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez

Richard Weinroth, food bank director and executive chef of MEND, said “The collaboration with CSUN is fantastic. The Matador spirit and support of UWS volunteers is great.”

Biology majors, Gloria Yun (Left), 19, and Catherine Han (Right), 19, work diligently to display the items collected during the annual clothing and food drive. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Biology majors, Gloria Yun (Left), 19, and Catherine Han (Right), 19, work diligently to display the items collected during the annual clothing and food drive. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

 

950 articles of clothing were donated to the clothing and food drive over the last week and a half. In addition CSUN students and faculty donated 25 toys and 50 books. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

950 articles of clothing were donated to the clothing and food drive over the last week and a half. In addition CSUN students and faculty donated 25 toys and 50 books. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

“[MEND] serves about 20,000 people and families every month. We would not be able to do this without CSUN’s help,” Weinroth said.

UWS and CE held a Commemorative Ceremony at the Oviatt Library lawn on Wednesday and announced the donation numbers. Among the donated were 9,013 non-perishable goods, 950 articles of clothing, 25 toys and 50 books. 10,038 items were donated in total, twice the amount from last year’s drive.

Community Engagement's service learning coordinator, Nicole Linton, helps unpack donated goods for the clothing and food drive event. "This is my first time...It's really great to see the outcome," Linton said. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Community Engagement’s service learning coordinator, Nicole Linton, helps unpack donated goods for the clothing and food drive event. “This is my first time…It’s really great to see the outcome,” Linton said. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

During the Commemorative Ceremony, Unified We Serve activities coordinator, Justin Weiss, gave a speech thanking those who volunteered. "We could not have done what we did without all of you," Weiss said. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

During the Commemorative Ceremony, Unified We Serve activities coordinator, Justin Weiss, gave a speech thanking those who volunteered. “We could not have done what we did without all of you,” Weiss said. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

During the Commemorative Ceremony, UWS activities coordinator, Justin Weiss, gave a speech thanking those who volunteered.

“We could not have done what we did without all of you,” Weiss said.

He also thanked those who participated in gathering items to donate. Among those who donated was sociology professor, Dr. James Ballard whose classes collectively donated over 3,500 food items.

Unified We Serve (UWS) and Community Engagement volunteers stand amidst the 9,013 non-perishable goods raised at their annual clothing and canned food drive. They collected goods from CSUN students, staff and faculty for two weeks. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Unified We Serve (UWS) and Community Engagement volunteers stand amidst the 9,013 non-perishable goods raised at their annual clothing and canned food drive. They collected goods from CSUN students, staff and faculty for two weeks. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

 


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