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Campaign to feed the needy

Due to the pandemic, rising costs of living and other factors, hunger in areas such as Wasco is a challenge for some residents.

One young man, Joshua Cooley, is spearheading an initiative to address this problem.

Cooley is a Wasco High School senior and part of the Wonderful AG Prep Student Leadership Club. He is the activities and community coordinator for the club.

For several years, he has played an instrumental role in launching and executing a holiday food drive for the needy. Once again, he is asking for donations from the community.

"We hope to collect as many canned foods as possible and other essential items like hygiene and toiletry products, as well as socks, pajamas, scarfs and gently used jackets," Cooley said.

"We have done these drives for a few years now but not to the magnitude we expect this year."

This year the club will distribute 150 food boxes to anyone that needs the help, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

He said the intention is to help those struggling to meet their financial needs. "It will benefit the needy by relieving some pressure of food insecurity and a need for basic essentials," he said.

Cooley believes together we can make a difference.

"We hope to gain this from the campaign, and we can do it by supporting one another and being there for each other during this holiday season."

He said these efforts are also a response to the recent violence in Wasco.

"The goal is to unite the community during these hard times within Wasco. It will just be nice to have some peace."

Cooley said the club's purpose is to train students to be outstanding leaders by putting them in real-world situations and showing them how to communicate and work with community members.

There are almost 300 students that participate in the club, ranging from freshmen to seniors.

The campaign involves the whole Wonderful education program.

"None of this could be possible without our amazing team," Cooley said.

The club officers are President Emily Molehauer, Vice President Jhoana Martinez, Secretary Luvia Lopez, Publicity Manager Juana Martinez and Treasurer Esperanza Nieto.

"We also have an incredible club advisor, Ian Hunter."

Cooley added that they are looking forward to another successful year.

"Our mission is to change one life at a time and leave a legacy behind," he said.

The collection period will end on Monday, Dec. 12, and distribution will occur on Monday, Dec. 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Wasco High School bus loading zone on the corner of Palm Avenue and 7th Street.

To make a donation, drop off the items at WHS or have them picked up. Contact Ian Hunter at 661-477-8340 to schedule either. For more information, email [email protected].


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