Hand UP Club Fights Hunger Crisis

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Members of the recently established Hand UP Club gather together during lunch in room B$ on Thursdays.

Samantha Wang, Staff Writer

To conquer the problem of hunger in San Diego, Hand UP UP? Stands for something?Club members meet Thursdays in AP World History Teacher Jonathan Schiller’s classroom to discuss, coordinate, and participate in helping to combat San Diego’s current hunger crisis.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 14.5 percent of families in San Diego have low food security (ers.usda.gov). “Hand UP club helps to combat hunger in the greater San Diego area through organizing and participating in food drives, fundraising for the Hand UP Youth Food Pantry and educating people about hunger,” said Hand UP Club President Ari Krasner.

According to Secretary Lauren Snell, Krasner leads the meetings at which time they discuss statistics to get everyone motivated about the goal of fighting hunger. Snell added that the members also discuss their next steps in helping to eliminate hunger. They plan food drives, help at military distributions, and do what they can to help bring food to the hungry.

“We just recently finished our first food drive and we collected over six-hundred pounds of food and over forty dollars for the Pantry,” said Krasner. “Just by us doing this food drive, we helped and affected many people’s lives.” Krasner also added that for one dollar, the Hand UP Youth Food Pantry can purchase ten pounds of food from organizations like Feeding America.

According to the Hand UP Teen Leadership Program, all the food the club collects goes to the Hand UP food pantry. In the past year, they have provided 8,974 people with 33,887 food bags (jfssd.org). All the money that they fundraise goes straight to the Jewish Family Service, which is a nondenominational organization created to help less fortunate people.

“The Hand UP Club is very successful and we are always looking for new members to join. The club here at UCHS started halfway through the first semester, so we are always trying to recruit new members,” Krasner explained. “All students are encouraged to join, because in addition to contributing the community, the club also offers community service hours for every meeting you attend.”