On a fall like Wednesday morning just three weeks before Veteran’s Day, eight members of the recently created Miramar College Student Veterans Organization (SVO) gathered near the college pool. Today’s mission-distribute 70 meals to students undergoing food insecurities. “We received donations from Sprouts, Smart & Final, and a delivery from Feeding San Diego and the food bank,” said Christina Brown, Anthropology student at Miramar College. “I love helping out with food because I know it is a big insecurity and there’s a lot of students who sleep in their cars and struggle day by day so they can get their education and I respect that.”
Volunteers spent the early morning packing up bags of fruits and vegetables, cartons of eggs, meats, canned goods and even Halloween treats. Students in need then drove through the roundabout near the pool to receive a bag full of groceries. SVO volunteers loaded up cars, using COVID-19 safety protocols for contact less delivery, and off the students went.
Navy Veteran’s Jose Araujo and Amore Carchano attended the food distribution and found it to mirror their time in the service. “One of the reasons I joined (SVO) was to be a part of something bigger," said Araujo. “This allows me to give back to the community, but more importantly, it keeps me in touch with fellow Veterans.” Something not overlooked by Araujo’s fellow Navy Veteran Amore Carchano. “When you are getting out of the military it is a hard transition to a civilian life,” said Carchano. “And having college friends who are also Veterans, you kind of get that feeling of acceptance, because it is really hard to adjust to civilian life.”
Miramar College offers food distributions to its students once a week despite a pandemic which has forced most students, staff and faculty off campus the past 8 months. “Right now with Covid-19, there is a disconnection from the students,” said Julia Kamp, mental health counselor at Miramar College. “We understand they are not always able to cover their basic needs and to be out here to provide a service for them is very important and just to let them know we are here is very important.” Before joining Miramar College, Kamp spent 7 years at Marine Corp Station Miramar serving as a mental health counselor. She is also married to a Veteran of the Marine Corp.
In honor of November 11th’s Veteran's Day, Miramar College will host a postcard writing campaign for active military and Veterans and a Zoom mixer for Veterans on Nov. 10. Check the College’s social media platforms for more information on these events.
The Student Veterans Organization meets once a month and is growing in its membership. If you’re a Veteran and would like to join the club please reach out to Marian Edelbrock at email@example.com.
To view a video of the food giveaway click on the link provided. https://youtu.be/M-vmo-LudAY