"Young Women Leader's" Volunteer to End Food Insecurity

Matt Vanderveer

Photo: Video by kmir6.com

"Young Women Leader's" Volunteer to End Food Insecurity

CREATED Dec. 8, 2013

INDIO - Food insecurity has been called an epidemic and the Coachella Valley is no different than anywhere else.

CEO of Find Food Banks Lisa Houston says children and senior citizens are among the most affected. "That’s heart-wrenching and really concerning to me considering where we live,” says Houston.

That's why girls from the “Young Women Leaders”, made up of female high school students from around the Coachella Valley, volunteered their time hoping to set an example. "You don't really hear about women as much as you do men-- so the more women that get involved, young women will look up to them and want to get involved in their community as well,” says Desert Hot Springs High School student Antonia Munoz.

"I want to become a better part of my community and contribute to it in ways that haven't been available to me,” says Cathedral City High School student Yoshi Figueroa.

Houston says the girls help is paramount in helping struggling people. "Take two people both working $8 an hour-- you can't make ends meat. What this allows us to do is get food out that much faster to our end recipients,” says Houston.

The food insecure population has gone up since 2012-- especially among seniors. "They can't change their environment. They can't go out and get a job. They're on a fixed income,” says Houston. She says more than 90,000 people are food insecure in the Coachella Valley-- meaning they are at a food pantry stocking up or cannot afford to buy food for themselves or their family.

Besides doing something good for their community, the girls learned about how to live healthy. They were taught about sugar intake, exercise and more. "If you're not showing leadership in how you eat, how your lifestyle is, how well you can discipline yourself, then how can you lead others?” says Treasurer of “Young Women Leaders Sonja Fung. “That's a message we really want to hone in while they're young so they can make a better impact when they're older."

Many don't worry about when their next meal is but Houston says becoming food insecure can happen to anyone. "It takes one little mishap to put you into a nose dive; if the car needs breaks, if the gas goes up or they have to go that much farther for a job. It takes away from the only budget you can really maneuver and that's your grocery budget,” says Houston.

A maneuver they hope to end with more events like this. "It's just a great feeling that I'm helping people in need,” adds Figueroa.

For more information on Find Food Bank, click here.