OCC recognizes Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

OCC Cares and Pirates’ Cove, Orange Coast College’s food pantry, are hosting its annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week this week at OCC.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is designed to educate the public about poverty and food insecurity while garnering support for local anti-poverty movements. The event has been held across the country since 1975.

The OCC Cares team hopes that the event will help the entire campus to be more aware and mindful of the needs of some of its students.

“That is the goal,” said Tuan Vo, Student Equity specialist. “That the whole entire campus, not just the student services wing but the instructional wing... can be more aware that this is a real need that our students go through, especially during the pandemic.”

Prior to the pandemic, Pirates’ Cove was providing 300-500 students a day with food. The campus closure severely limited the amount of students Pirates’ Cove was able to help.

“It made us have to be a lot more creative on how to reach out to students, because they're not on campus,” Vo said.

During the pandemic, Pirates’ Cove started drive-through grocery distribution every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Students can RSVP for the drive-through grocery pickup at Pirates’ Cove website

Now that some students are back on campus, Pirates’ Cove is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are currently distributing coats to those in need, and will be giving away supplies for Thanksgiving meals next week.

OCC cares is also supporting students by helping them apply for CalFresh food assistance and helping them find emergency housing.

“We’d like to invite students who struggle with basic needs, to let them know that we're here. We're here for them,” Vo said.

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