Student-Sponsored Food Drive Helps Unhoused Neighbors


Diana Miguel, Staff Writer

Earlier this school year, a student-led organization called Venice/Culver Project for the Unhoused embarked on the task of organizing a food drive to help our unhoused neighbors in the Culver City and Los Angeles area. They have partnered up with organizations such as Polos Pantry, a local food pantry, to help provide as many benefits as they could to this outcast part of our community. This organization has since grown to the point where multiple food drives have taken place as measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the volunteers and unhoused residents.

They started with a food drive in early September that helped improve the efficiency and organization of future food drives through experience; once another drive occurred in October preparation for handling donations became easier for the group of Culver High students as well as others assisting. More donations have come in thanks to help from the local community, as well as different organizations. Waterdrop LA has donated at least 115 gallons of water, and a woman named Mitra helped organize 150 hygiene packs for the unhoused at Globe Avenue, as well as other hotspots for our unhoused neighbors this year. An average of twelve volunteers have shown up to help create 115 care bags that contained food, water, as well as the hygiene kits that were created and given out in a socially distanced manner in order to create a safe environment for volunteers and those unhoused. When COVID-19 measures became dangerously close to our community, this project shifted along with the circumstances to have care bags delivered apart from one another to avoid crowds as they still plan to continue to help in a safe manner for all.

The student that founded this student-led organization in Culver City, Lizbeth Mendez Martinez, created this group to help our unhoused neighbors who are suffering detrimentally due to the pandemic and the local heat waves, with the hopes of continuing to give aid in the best way possible. Her final thoughts on the group’s efforts are that “I am so thankful that the events have been a success and we honestly couldn’t have done it without the organizations as well as the people who helped and donated to make this event possible.” The organization full of young helpers plans to continue as long as possible to help this part of our community in order to create a friendlier and healthier environment for our unhoused neighbors. Actively participating to advocate for others has brought this community together to continue to help other around them.If anyone wants to help, follow them on Instagram (venice.culver.p4u) or Twitter (veniceculverp4u) or email them at [email protected].