Students organize food tasting event that benefits Los Angeles Foodbank

CSUN students held “A Taste of Northridge Foodraiser” Sunday, featuring donated popular menu items from local restaurants in order to raise awareness and donations for the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.

Epicurean Endeavors, a group of five CSUN students in a Coms 323 class, organized the event in the USU thousand oaks room, setting up food from 10 participating restaurants including California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle and Starbucks.

Students and community members participating in the event brought in three or more non-perishable food products, such as canned goods or pasta, all donated to the L.A. Regional Foodbank, in return for free food from participating restaurants.

The turnout was about 40 people, and they raised over 200 lbs of food.

Signs around the USU thousand oaks room included statistics from the food bank brochure such as, “For every $1 donated, the Foodbank can provide enough food for four meals.”

One of the organizers Brandie Neal, senior communication studies major, said they focused their project on a scale that would be feasible on the CSUN campus.

“I’d like for this to let everyone know how easy it is to just organize something small.  I think CSUN students want to help and a lot of them want to do things, they just don’t know where to begin. So maybe this could be the start of an idea,” Neal said.

Initially wanting to develop a project focusing on pets, because of her love for animals, Neal changed her mind after having a conversation with her mother.

“I was talking to my mother and she told me as nice as that is and as charitable as that can be, there are kids who could probably use a lot more help,” Neal said. “Much like when my brother and sister-in-law were down and out and I remembered how grateful they were just to put a meal together. She said maybe you could change your thought process and focus it toward something bigger like the foodbank.”

Some students who participated related to the struggle faced by many families during tough economic times like our current recession.

“I like to participate in food drives because when I was younger my family needed help too,” said Brittany Sargent, junior anthropology major, who heard about the event from a flyer near Juniper Hall.

After researching online Neal decided to propose their group should help the struggling Los Angeles Foodbank.

“In 2011, they gave out food to more than one million families in L.A. County and during the recession they noticed an increase in middle class families who were using their services,” Neal said. “So their donations have dropped and the number of people partaking has risen and they have a struggle.”

Other than raising food, the group’s main goal was to help raise awareness for the food bank, who is trying to branch out and use social media such as Facebook.

“It was for a good cause and we decided to help out. It will help more students get involved on campus and be aware of the situation,” said Jerry Abassian, senior


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