Pantry of Hope
Yakima Valley families in need received a bit of Christmas cheer from Heritage University students this December. For the fourth year in a row, students from across the campus organized Pantry of Hope, a drive that gives local families enough food and other pantry supplies to last them a week during what can be a difficult time for some.
“Many of these families work in the agriculture industry, and during the winter there are limited agricultural jobs available. So the Pantry of Hope comes at a good time and provides help to these families during the holiday season,” says Sagrario Leon, the vice president of international initiatives for Heritage Enactus. “We as students and community members want to show that we care for our neighbors who have a need.”
Spearheaded by the Enactus business club, Pantry of Hope has grown from helping 100 families the first year to 350 this year. Heritage students write grants and solicit contributions from businesses and individuals and work with social service agencies and school districts to identify families in need living in the lower Yakima Valley. Their efforts culminate in the delivery of the donated goods to families just a few weeks before Christmas.
Along with the holiday help, participating families received financial training from Enactus members on how to create and live on a budget.
Other clubs involved in the project include the Native American Club, the Interested Ladies of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority Incorporated, the Social Work Student Association and the Student Government Association.