May 25, 2024

The Early Childhood Studies Club features one of its collection boxes at the homecoming Block Party to gather edible goods for low-income families. This marks the sixth year the club has hosted a food drive for the community. Jared Overstreet | Banner

The Early Childhood Studies Club’s Sixth Annual Canned Food Drive, which ran from Oct. 20 to Nov. 8, gave California Baptist University students an opportunity to provide for the greater Riverside community in a tangible way.

Over the course of the three-week drive, students were encouraged to donate pop-top cans to designated areas on campus, which were then collected by members of the Early Childhood Studies Club. The cans were donated to Arlington Temporary Assistance, a local organization that provides assistance to low-income and homeless families in the community. The organization intends to use the cans collected by CBU to provide food to families who may not have it in the coming holiday season.

While everyone on campus was encouraged to participate, the largest influx of cans was provided by on-campus leadership.

Callie Kolb, junior early childhood studies major and vice president of the Early Childhood Studies Club, said the participation from these groups was notable.

“FOCUS helped a lot,” Kolb said. “We’ve collected probably around 100 cans from the FOCUS leaders, which has been a huge help.”

Alyssa Rowe, senior mathematics major and FOCUS leader, participated in the food drive by bringing cans to her core group every Wednesday night. She said that it was strange bringing cans because she does not own many, but that it was good to know that people were being helped through her participation.

“It was nice to help out those in the community this way,” Rowe said of the food drive. “I feel like something like this will be beneficial to the community in a way that we as students can’t be a lot of the time.”

The food drive ended during the final day of Homecoming, with a final tally of more than 200 cans. Kolb said that while there is always room for improvement, the most important thing is that students have come together to make a difference in the lives of others, which matters whether contributions are large or small.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve people locally and to serve families, too,” Kolb said. “We really enjoy being able to serve the community of Riverside, and make a difference.”

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