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Put the “Giving” Back in Thanksgiving: Fighting Food Insecurity In LA!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Why did the turkey cross the road? To prove he wasn’t chicken. With Thanksgiving coming up, millions of Americans will be digging into an entire baked turkey, but a lot of them won’t be that lucky.

My hottest take is that the average American over-emphasizes over-eating on Thanksgiving. In a holiday traditionally based on the values of family and gratitude, it seems like we have become too focused on the food that goes along with it. I think it’s time that we re-evaluate what we are prioritizing on Thanksgiving, and in doing so, help our neighbors and peers have something to be grateful for. 

Researchers at USC have found that nearly a quarter of households in Los Angeles experience food insecurity. Further, according to Forbes Magazine, one in three college students doesn’t have enough food. Locally, in the LA area, you can donate to the LA food bank or LA Mission, as well as countless other small community food banks. On the UCLA campus specifically, there is an even more direct way to help your peers!

Swipe Out Hunger is a student run club which donates leftover swipes, provides fresh produce and cooks meals for local homeless shelters and UCLA students directly. During Week 10 of every quarter, teams from the club will be stationed outside of every dining hall to collect unused swipes. They collect from any type of meal plan, P or R, and I know all of my 19P-ers will be searching for ways to discharge all of their extra swipes during finals. This is a perfect way to positively affect a peer’s life, especially during the holiday season. 

I am not trying to cancel Thanksgiving, I just think we should focus more on the giving and less on the food. There are so many traditions and ways to be grateful that don’t have to involve over consumption and waste. 

Katy is a first year communications major at UCLA originally from Pennsylvania! She enjoys baking, Taylor Swift, and lifting :)