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AVID students and LOTH team up to tackle food insecurity in Taft

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Posted at 11:09 AM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 14:09:04-04

TAFT, Calif. (KERO) — Food insecurity is a struggle for many of our communities but an organization in Taft is taking on the labor of providing meals, and now they have the help of local students.

Laborers Of The Harvest was created as a way to make a difference in Taft, which is what made these Taft AVID students want to help.

“It was challenging at first because it’s hard to go out there and advocate for this cause but the more you actually do it the easier it gets to talk to people and explain your needs," said Ashley Gonzalez Ramirez, a Taft Union High School AVID student. "They’re more than willing to help in any way they can."

Ramirez, along with fellow students Nadalie Pence, Fatima Rivera Jaime, and Natalia Guzman decided to use their senior service project as an opportunity to collect donations for LOTH. The non-profit has been in operation for nearly 40 years, picking up food from grocery stores in Bakersfield and Taft and redistributing it to those in need in Taft, Arvin and Frazier Park.

For these young ladies, discovering there was an abundance of need for food items in their community opened their eyes to difference they could make.

“If you’re willing to go up to other people and ask for help there’s a lot of people that are more than willing to help support the community and the people who need it," said Fatima Rivera Jaime.

The AVID program at Taft encourages students to think outside the box when it comes to their projects and helps them see how they can have a hand in serving their home town.

“It’s great that when we went to go talk to stores they were already contributing and donating portions of their food so it’s great to see that locally owned stores are contributing in every way they can," Ramirez said.

Their project will culminate with a food drive on March 18, where these students will be outside LOTH in Taft waiting to collect donations. You can drive by and donate at their location on 201 1/2 Harrison Street.