Home Away From Home and Equity Arcata held a free food and supply distribution event for HSU students on March 15. The rainy event was catered by Roman’s Kitchen and included free food and free bags of supplies like gift cards, shampoo, hygiene products, and more. Equity Arcata hosts events like these a few times a year to help give college students the chance to save some cash on some of the expensive items they’re going to need to live on their own.
Equity Arcata, the group that hosted the event, is a collective of volunteers that organizes various work groups in order to put together events that help make Arcata a more racially equitable community. These groups help to address the potential barriers that can make life difficult for people trying to make their home in Arcata. According to Cati Gallardo, chair of the Equity Arcata communications working group, these work groups focus on things like housing, student safety, and more.
“We have several working groups all focusing on various kinds of racial equity in Arcata,” Gallardo said. “Specific to housing, police and student safety, or ongoing learning which offers racial equity training for community members at HSU and also at K-12 schools.”
This specific distribution event was done by Home Away From Home, a group of volunteers that helps to get food and supplies to college students and to help them feel welcome in Arcata while they choose to live here. This year the event was catered by Roman’s Kitchen, who gave out free sandwiches and burgers, but under normal circumstances, the event would be a potluck where students can come in and get some free food and a free goodie bag of all of the things an underfunded student may need.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year and last, that couldn’t be done, but regardless, Home Away From Home member Gillen Martin says that this is the third event done under quarantine and hopefully they can do another around finals week.
“This is our third distribution like this, we did one in October, one in December, and this is our third.” Martin said “Hopefully we get another grant to do another one around finals week. We always like to hold one kind of in honor of finals week too because students are kind of dealing with some stuff, so they don’t have to worry about it.”
The distribution events mainly bring in students from HSU in Arcata but also from any of the surrounding colleges, and are open to any students who could use something to eat and some free stuff. A lot of students are led to the event by one of the many other projects that all dedicate time and effort to helping Arcata and Humboldt as a whole be a more welcoming and safe community.