“We got to do better of getting the food to them,” said Traco Matthews, Chief Program Officer at CAPK. He is talking about helping vulnerable seniors in our community who might not have access to food or consistent meals. That’s why CAPK partnered with California State University Bakersfield organizations – the Kegley Institute and the Alumni Association – and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, to pack food boxes for seniors.
This initiative was part of the first annual Wendy Wayne day of service, to honor the late CSUB alumna who devoted herself to a life of helping those in her community.
“Seniors are more vulnerable when it comes to food insecurity because often they don’t have transportation or it’s harder for them to be mobile,” Matthews added.
Volunteers gathered Saturday morning to pack 882 boxes of food. Each box of food had a variety of items like canned food, milk, juice, peanut butter, spaghetti and other staples. Matthews says each box is curated with nutritional value, and the food is enough to help a senior for more than 2-3 weeks.
Matthews stressed that food insecurity is “huge in Kern County.” That’s why CAPK works to combats those issues through various partnerships.
Dr. Michael Burroughs, Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics, says they are proud of collaborations like these and the environment they foster. He adds that this was the best kind of way to honor Wendy Wayne’s legacy.
“There’s both good for our community happening, food packages we’re assembling, but there’s also just great conversation and community building happening on the assembly line, so it’s just a really wonderful, positive environment,” said Burroughs.
Volunteers poured their hearts and worked all morning to help make sure that seniors in our community don’t go hungry.
Alexander Fan, a volunteer with Transitional Youth Mobilizing for Change, was one of them and says he is grateful for opportunities like these. He says service projects like these help interact with different community members, all for a cause.
“Just knowing that whatever we’re doing is having a positive, significant impact on our community and knowing that people are going to be getting food directly because of our work is really heartwarming,” said Fan.