Posted on March 30, 2012
It has been am awesome week, so much momentum for Grind Out Hunger. So much in fact that Thursday snuck up on us and the students of SOS High School were out in the courtyard waiting for their tour to start. As my guests were waiting I had to reflect…The best part of my job is to take students on tours of Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County and today was no different.
It started as usual, most people that come out to the food bank realize the obvious that food is distributed to the people that need it. What almost all of the people do not realize is that is just the very tip of the iceberg. Food banks are complex community hubs that champion a multitude of opportunities improving lives.
I start of with our guests letting them know a few things about the food bank they might find interesting. Fact one: 1 in 4 kids are going hungry or malnourished in Santa Cruz County. Fact two: The food bank serves over 55,000 people per month, Fact three: Second Harvest Food Bank is the second oldest food bank in the United States. Fact four: Grind Out Hunger and the youth of Santa Cruz County have raised over 1 million pounds of food.
As we cruised through the food bank, the students met Events and Food Drives Manager Bly Morales, Volunteer Services Manager Danny Robles, CEO Willy Elliot-McCrea, Chief Operations and Programs Officer Brooke Johnson and multiple people throughout the warehouse. We watched a bag packing session (complete with LMFAO’s “I work out” on 102.5 KDON) and got to check out what was actually packed in the bags (there were pistachios in the bags we opened!). A bunch of students ran through the freezer and then the refrigerator, we talked about how many frozen chickens distributed over the holidays (30,000!!!) and how many pounds of fresh fruits and produce rotates in and out of the refrigerator (over 150,000 pounds).
As we wrapped it up, we talked about skateboarding and how it applies to helping people out, why I founded Grind Out Hunger, a little about myself (a 5 year stint on 102.5 KDON’s The Morning Madhouse and Santa Cruz Skate and Surf Shop always helps.)and how I grew up. After all is said and done, I like to leave students with some words of advice. As I hand every student my business card and their Hunger Fighter Bracelets, I tell them to make two promises to me;
1. Don’t do anything you are not passionate about, you can make as much money doing something you love rather than working in a job you hate.
2. One person can make a difference.
Ladies and gentlemen I give you the most recent batch of Hunger Fighters from SOS High School. You guys rule and can do anything you put your minds to!
About SOS School:
SOS is designed for students up to age 19 who are returning to school and who want to continue their education and work towards a high school diploma, GED, or transition to Cabrillo College.
SOS is an individualized, student-centered program that also includes vocational education. The SOS Program is a collaboration between Watsonville/Aptos Adult Ed., COE’s Alternative Education, Cabrillo College, Regional Occupational Program (ROP), and Pájaro Valley USD.
For more information visit their website at: http://www.santacruz.k12.ca.us/alt_ed/schools/sos.html