ASU hosts drive-thru providing school and food supplies amidst pandemic


Denis Perez/ The Advocate

Jonathan Rodriguez helps a student with a box containing food supplies during the School-Food Supplies Drive-Thru held on Sept. 9, at Contra Costa College.

By Evalyn Soungpanya

The Associated Student Union hosted a School-Food Supplies Drive-Thru amid  COVID-19 and hazardous air quality.

The pandemic social distancing guidelines and the wildfires made a drastic shift in their traditions.

Typically, the first week of the semester would feature a busy plaza full of students and campus groups at Contra Costa College.

Before COVID-19, ASU welcomed new and returning CCC students with music and a table full of school supplies.

This year ASU hosted a curbside School-Food Supplies Drive-Thru on Sept. 9 from 1-3 p.m.

About 11 members of ASU helped organize the drive. The goal of the event was to provide materials to students in a time of need.

Participants only needed to drive up to the curb and members of ASU would carry a box of food and school supplies into their car to ensure everyone’s safety.

300 notebooks, pencils and highlighters were given out during the food drive, with two notebooks per student.

There were also boxes handed out that contained food like canned goods, pasta, rice, cereal and milk along with school supplies in the drive-thru. ASU had enough supplies to aid 150-300 students. 

ASU used its regular budget to fund the drive-thru. The $5 student activity fee is given to ASU as a budget and enables them to host the semester drives.

ASU president Ricardo Sanchez has been part of the Associated Student Union for over a year. He said before Covid-19 ASU members could go to the store and easily acquire materials for the event in advance. 

According to Sanchez, the process of getting materials is harder during the pandemic. This year ASU had to order the supplies online, which takes time and makes the process longer.

“It’s definitely been harder to organize the drive because of the pandemic,” Sanchez said. “It was easier to organize last year. I’m happy for the team I have since we’re all on the same page to make it easier for everything to get done.”

Hector Moncada is the adviser of the Associated Student Union, who ensured that everything with the drive was ready since he was the only one who could come onto campus.

“We chose to give these out (notebooks, pencils, highlighters) because they’re the essentials a college student can use in class,” Moncada said.

Its purpose was to ensure all college students are equipped with the necessary tools for the new semester and materials they need to start school on the right track.

Stephanie, a second-year CCC student, came to the drive for the first time, looking for school supplies. 

“The pandemic has made it hard to afford school supplies since it’s harder to go outside,” she said. 

She added that she’d come back again because it was a simple process and makes it easier to get the items she needs.