Helping Hand Worldwide is a leader in addressing the dual problems of hunger and homelessness at college campuses. In 2013, we partnered with Saddleback College in Mission Viejo to serve students in need directly on the campus. With assistance from Ms. Jeanne Harris-Caldwell, Director of Health Services, we arranged to bring our Mobile Food Pantry on campus. We distribute fresh, healthy food to hungry and homeless students every other week.
We serve students trying to make a better life for themselves under difficult circumstances. While many students “sofa surf” while attending classes, others live in their cars. Each semester, approximately 5% of the student body is homeless. Students often begin lining up for our free food distribution two hours in advance. In many cases, the fruit and vegetables we provide are the only fresh produce they will eat.
Ms. Harris-Caldwell, RN, manages our food distribution site with compassion and professionalism. On March 12, 2014, Jeanne made a presentation to the California State Assembly, bringing much needed attention to the non-academic challenges facing students today particularly the seriousness of homelessness and hunger on our campuses.