Thanks to the efforts of the Cal State Fullerton University Police and members of the community, several needy families will be enjoying a full holiday dinner, complete with canned vegetables, potatoes, ham and possibly a turkey.
The University Police just finished a month-long food drive in a joint effort with Mercy House Transitional Living Center to provide dinners for needy families during the holidays. The aim of the drive was to provide several families with a complete holiday meal through the donation of canned vegetables, potatoes, gravy, rice and gift cards for markets.
Capt. John Brockie said the number of donations has been impressive and that the success could prompt another food drive.
“I think it’s successful,” said Brockie. “We had people from our community who don’t work at the police department that have brought in items. Also, the news spread a bit and it seems like a successful campaign.”
University Police spreads the word of the food drive largely through word of mouth between friends, family and the community as well as the CSUF website, which outlined the types of foods that were acceptable.
This marks the department’s first time accepting food donations for Mercy House. The idea for the drive originally came from Officer Katie Cappuccio, who wanted to help the homeless that sometimes visit campus.
“I just thought it would be something we could do for the holidays to help out the community,” said Cappuccio. “So I thought that organizing something like that would impact some of the people we see on and around campus. We have a lot of homeless people that frequent our campus and I thought it would be a good way to give back to those types of people.”
After Cappuccio saw the CSUF students were giving donations such as toys, clothes and blankets to various foundations, she decided to contact Mercy House to set up a plan for donations.
“What we’re going to do is separate all the food and create individual boxes that the Mercy House will then distribute to families that need to prepare a family dinner. So each box will include the ingredients necessary to do that,” said Cappuccio.
Cappuccio added that the food drive received enough food to make an estimated eight to 10 family dinners.
Interestingly enough, Mercy House was not the first choice for a joint donation from the University Police and Cappuccio was also receptive to the possibility of future donations to other organizations as well.
“We were trying to partner with the Women’s Center to see if we can do something for the battered and abused children and women, but the donation process with them was a little more complicated for the time I had to plan,” said Cappuccio. “We may try hooking up with a different organization for Easter (or other holidays).”