The Special Cub Service Day was held at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (LARF) on Friday, Nov. 17. Led by Loyola’s Community Service Director Thomas Zeko and the Loyola Community Service Leadership Team (CSLT), 21 Loyola students participated in the service day by packaging food for those in need.
Sophomore and CSLT member Dominic Esposito said, “The experience made me feel very helpful to those in need.”
At both the morning and afternoon shifts, students were given an initial orientation which demonstrated the importance of packaging food supplies and the impact their service makes by meeting the needs of the less fortunate in Los Angeles County. Students later bagged food and broke down cardboard boxes to be recycled.
Freshman Vijay Chandran said, “The service day at LARF gave me an idea of what to expect during my next four years at Loyola of the community service aspect. I felt proud that the food we packaged will be going towards those who need it and proud to leave a positive impact on my community. I would recommend for any Loyola student to participate in it in the future.”
The Special Cub Service Day is part of a partnership Loyola has with LARF. The partnership involves day-long or half-day service projects for Loyola students during faculty inservice days when students are not attending school.
Zeko said, “There are a number of the LARF service days over the course of the year, typically on days when the teachers are in meetings.”
According to Zeko, LARF is the main collector and distributor of perishable and nonperishable foods and resources in Los Angeles. He said that LARF is a critical part of the social infrastructure of Los Angeles, as they supply food to over 660 neighborhoods, including Skid Row, West LA, the San Fernando Valley, and Long Beach, giving two bags of food a month to each recipient. The bags of food consist of bread, meat, fruit, vegetables, and cake.
Junior Telmo Lee-Ciganda said, “The experience at LARF widened my perspective on how people live. The experience helped me to realize the positive difference Loyola students can make when we come together to help those in need in our community. I felt proud to make a difference.”
Volunteer opportunities for students at LARF are available most Saturday mornings during the year or during holiday breaks, regardless of whether Loyola has a sponsored day or not. Interested students can sign up via the LARF website.
Zeko said, “My goal for involving the student body in community service is I hope that people get an experience of doing good and seeing the bigger picture.”
In addition to the LARF service, other upcoming important community service events include the Father-Son Service Day, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, and the Homeboy Christmas Party on Friday, Dec. 22. Interested students should contact Zeko directly or go to the Community Service Center for more information.