Two UCSB students will lead a community luncheon to feed local homeless people this Sunday at Anisq’ Oyo’ Park for what may be the beginning of a monthly community service project.
The lunch, organized by UCSB seniors Bryce Pulliam and Andrea Walden-Morden, will begin at 12:30 p.m. Pulliam said he and Walden-Morden expect to serve approximately 50 sack lunches, each containing a sandwich, homemade dessert and soda, as well as any additional food items which are donated before the event. Volunteers will meet at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, located at 6586 Picasso Rd., at 11:30 a.m. to assemble the lunches before heading over to the park to distribute them.
Pulliam, a biology major, said he and Walden-Morden, a dance and English major, decided to organize the event after attending an advisory meeting for St. Michael’s, of which they are both active members. He said he and Walden-Morden volunteered to chair the lunch program as a campus ministry community service project because they felt there was a strong need to provide such services in I.V.
“It’s just a shame to walk by these people who are such members of our community – we know a lot of them by name – and not do anything,” Pulliam said.
Pulliam said he expects a lot of volunteers, both church members and UCSB students, to show up Sunday morning to help prepare the luncheon. He said he anticipates that the group will give out all 50 sack lunches at the event.
“We have support from [the Community Affairs Board] and campus youth group,” Pulliam said. “The [Biology] Dept., [Letters & Science] Honors Program and the Health Professions Office all agreed to put fliers on their listserv.”
While they have been planning the project for close to a month, Pulliam said the details for the event did not start to solidify until last week. He said the original plan entailed giving out only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a plan that changed when local organizations and businesses including the St. Michael’s congregation, Our Daily Bread, Trader Joe’s, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Pacific Beverages volunteered to donate food and assistance to the project.
If the luncheon is a success, Pulliam said, he would like to begin holding the event regularly. Currently, St. Mark’s Church serves lunch to homeless people during the week, although no free meals are offered in I.V. over the weekend.
“If two people can do this, it doesn’t take much to start something big,” he said.