In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, one 16-year-old is hoping to address food insecurity one can at a time.
Turlock resident Manveer Parmar is a sophomore in Modesto High School’s International Baccalaureate program, where he participates in not only rigorous and challenging courses, but also focuses on community involvement. When Parmar became aware of the United Samaritans Foundation in Turlock and the food it provides for the area’s neediest residents, he knew he wanted to help — especially as many community members find themselves jobless due to COVID-19.
The result of Parmar’s compassion is the U CAN Food Drive, which will feature three drop-off locations throughout Turlock from July 25 to Aug. 25.
“It hit me that I could channel my efforts to assist an organization like the United Samaritans Foundation in Turlock. Bit by bit, it all just came together and I decided to name it ‘U CAN,’ which I feel is empowering within itself and compliments well to the cause,” Parmar said. “These added donations to our local organization will truly help to further amplify their efforts for those in our community who require it the most at this time.”
Parmar is asking the community to donate non-perishable foods at any of the three drop-off sites: the Turlock Journal office (121 S Center St., Second floor), Accurate Family Dental (2840 Geer Rd.) or PMZ Real Estate (1500 Fulkerth Rd.). For those who cannot make it to a drop-off location, arrangements can be made for pickup by calling 209-668-4040.
The teen said that the support he has seen the community lend one another during this time is inspiring, and that he’s looking forward to contributing to the cause.
“This is truly the time to band together. We must never leave out our fellow community members to struggle during these difficult times,” Parmar said. “Helping families who have lost ground due to COVID can help them recover and be on the same ground as all of us. I truly believe ‘No Turlockian Left Behind.’”
Parmar also asks that participants in the U CAN Food Drive share their efforts on Facebook and Instagram to spread the word. For more information, Parmar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I am very grateful to everyone in Turlock who is reading this and thinking about ways to help out. Together, each of us can always make a difference.”