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April 22, 2014 > Local youth organizes food drive

Local youth organizes food drive

Submitted By Aren Wang

Did you know that 16,000 people in Fremont, 5,023 people in Union City and 2,835 people in Newark are fighting poverty, hunger and food insecurity? Approximately one third of these people are seniors; another third are children. These people depend on local organizations including Tri-City Volunteers for food and help.

My name is Aren Wang and I live in Union City. I am a home schooled 9-year-old who became interested in this topic when I saw homeless people and asked my mother about them. She took me to Tri-City Volunteers in Fremont where I met Executive Director Melissa Ponchard and toured the facility. I was surprised by the limited food on hand that day Ð only oranges, onions, apples, bread, and donuts. Ms. Ponchard said they were running low because it was Friday. Most people come for their food on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I saw people lining up for food. I thought about my grandmother - if she had to line up for food, IÕd feel bad.

Another really sad part to this story is I found out that Tri-City Volunteers struggles to cover their bills and pay wages. They also need better computers. ItÕs hard to help others when you are constantly worried about paying for things like rent, gas and staff. Tri-City Volunteers have only 10 staff people working for them. Ms Ponchard says that volunteers do the work of another 40 people!

Ms Ponchard also said that there is a Òfood droughtÓ going on Ðfood supplies are really low and she is worried that they will have much less food to feed the hungry this year because of the drought. If you have extra vegetables from your garden, you can donate to Tri-City Volunteers. They really need fresh, healthy food.

I was inspired by my visit and decided to organize a food drive. I wanted to help Tri-City Volunteers. In all, I collected 80 cans of food and $80. I wish to thank my friends and family for donating cans and money, including my brotherÕs babysitter Jessica Doerr, my gardening teacher, Sandra Nevala-Lee, my teacher Elaine Peterson, and employees at Midlabs in San Leandro.

Please help Tri-City Volunteers. They need food donations and more urgently money to pay bills. Tell them Aren sent you!

Tri-City Volunteers
37350 Joseph St, Fremont
(510) 793-4583

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