Ralphs, Food 4 Less donate $105,000 to address food insecurity at community colleges

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Food 4 Less and Ralphs decided to take action after seeing ABC7'S report earlier this month that five out of 10 community college students in Los Angeles are food insecure.

"Our goal by 2025 is to end hunger in our communities where we work and live," said Vanessa Rosales with Ralphs and Food 4 Less.

Ralphs and Food 4 Less presented the Los Angeles Community College District with a check for $105,000 Tuesday at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

"We all, through our educational journey at one time or another, have felt hungry while we were trying to study and it's a distraction. Just think if that is a persistent feeling. That is unacceptable to Ralphs and Food 4 Less," said John Vovata with Ralphs and Food 4 Less.

The $105,000 donation will be divided among the nine community colleges to increase the number of times per week the pantry takes place and the variety of foods offered. The food pantry at LATTC is paid for by donations and some state funding, but no federal funding. It offers the basics and allows students to focus on school and not about putting food on the table.

"I live with my boyfriend and he's the only one working so it's both of us on one income. Most of it does go to rent so there's not much left for groceries, so it comes it handy," said Maritza Menescs, with LATTC.

"I save some money throughout the week and it helps out, make a meal at the end of the day. I don't have to go to the store today," said Michael Valdez, a student at LATTC.

Mary Curiel, who is studying culinary arts at LATTC, applauded the donation. The food she gets for free at school doesn't just feed her, it feeds her whole family.

"It keeps me up and I don't have to worry about 'oh my god I'm going to waste $100,' plus I have my school supplies, so it saves me money. Something less I have to worry about," said Curiel.
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