USC employees help with a food distribution at the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA. (Photo/Peter Miranda)

Social Impact

USC community fund distributes critical resources to neighbors in need

More than $81,000 has been awarded to community programs that support local families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 11, 2020 By Saúl García

Through its Community Outreach Fund, USC has awarded more than $81,000 to programs assisting families in local neighborhoods who’ve been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs are on the front lines, helping families facing food insecurity and rising unemployment.

“When the pandemic started in March, we began to partner with different organizations to feed the community and provide different resources,” said Ben Garcia, director of Urban 360. “Now, we are serving families that lost their jobs, families that are struggling financially. We are helping them with the basics so they can pay their bills.”

The fund will continue to support food distribution sites at St. Agnes Church, Urban 360 and the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA. The distributions have delivered over 4 million pounds of food to local residents.

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USC‘s community outreach programs serve between 800 and 1,000 families per week (Photo/Peter Miranda)

“We are united with our community in getting through this pandemic together,” said Samuel Garrison, interim senior vice president for university relations.

“USC created the community fund to provide urgent and immediate assistance to our neighbors. Because of the Trojan Family’s generosity, we partnered with great local programs to feed families, educate children, provide mental health resources, support small businesses and help nonprofits to continue delivering essential services.”

The fund has awarded grants to community programs that are providing crucial resources in a fight that, due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, will continue into the future.

“We are helping seniors, single mothers and many who were once employed that are unemployed,” Garcia added. “We try to make deliveries weekly. We are serving between 800 and 1,000 families per week.”

USC plans to continue assisting various community programs through contributions made to the Good Neighbors Campaign.