By Henry Fuhrmann | Cal State LA News Service
Cal State LA is continuing its collaboration with community partners to distribute food to families affected by the COVID-19 crisis, most recently at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA in Boyle Heights, just a few miles from campus.
The university partnered for the third time with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and Optimum Seismic, Inc., a leading earthquake retrofit company with facilities in Vernon and Huntington Park. The organizations are combining their resources to assist economically distressed communities in East, Southeast and South Los Angeles.
On September 18, students and staff from Cal State LA, organized by the university’s Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good, joined with other volunteers to pack and distribute food for hundreds of residents and their families in need. They were joined by State Senator María Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, whose districts include Boyle Heights.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles has been providing 70,000 meals a week in communities that have been especially hard hit during the COVID-19 outbreak. The scope of the economic distress was documented by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA in a recent survey. The survey, focusing on Southeast Los Angeles and adjacent communities, found that half of the respondents reported losing their jobs or having their work hours reduced. About 1 in 4 had less than $100 in savings for emergencies.
Joining with partners from the community, business and government aligns with Cal State LA’s commitment to engagement and service for the public good.
“We’re very happy at Cal State LA to work with our community partners, Optimum Seismic and the YMCA, and our legislative leaders, Miguel Santiago and María Elena Durazo,” said Jose A. Gomez, the university’s executive vice president, during a Facebook Live session from Friday’s event.
Gomez, a member of the board of directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, noted that most of Cal State LA’s students come from within an eight-mile radius of the campus, including the area served by the Weingart facility. “Our mission is one of community engagement, of public service and of really helping uplift and support the communities that we serve,” he said.
Cal State LA has long enjoyed a productive partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, including the Achieve LA program they launched in 2017 with the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Achieve LA seeks to create pathways to higher education for local youths and provide civic engagement opportunities for area residents. The program is being conducted at Weingart and three other YMCA locations.
Cal State LA, the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and Optimum Seismic plan a fourth food distribution event on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Crenshaw Family YMCA, 3820 Santa Rosalia Drive, Los Angeles.
Photo: Cal State LA teamed up with community partners to distribute food to families in need at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA in Boyle Heights. (Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.