Through COVID-19 and community crises, Food Not Bombs Isla Vista continues to support its local neighborhood through unprecedented times with delicious acts of kindness.
The grassroots organization prepares and provides free vegan meals to anyone in need. The chains before reported on the homeless assistance group during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. While continuing to provide meals to the homeless, the organization has also focused its efforts on helping students of UCSB hosted in hotels.
“We adapt to the needs of the community,” Food Not Bombs member Joshua Buendia said. “Whether it’s with COVID, housing or whatever it is that can happen. “
Isla Vista is one of many areas in Southern California suffering from a housing shortage. With City College students vying to live in the idyllic university town, along with those from UCSB, an environment has been created where multiple students must cohabit in order to pay rent and utilities.
Many international students attending UCSB were unsure whether they could enter the United States and take classes in person, as protocols for COVID-19 were unclear and there were difficulties obtaining visas from. trip.
UCSB international student Julian Broadbery told The Channels about his trip from Copenhagen to Santa Barbara, including having to travel to Paris to receive a visa since the US embassies around him were closed.
Broadbery came to the United States not knowing where he was going to live. UCSB’s housing administration did not respond until about five days before the start of the fall term, when the college offered her a hotel room to stay.
“When I got the contract and found out where I was going to live, it was a relief,” said the Danish native. “It was also a little wrong that it was such a big relief because I shouldn’t have to worry about it and I was also left on my own because my own university told me that all contacts were to be made through the administration here. “
Broadbery went on to say he had no point of contact and felt “left in the dark”.
Broadbery and fellow international student Diego Zahnen, who also resides in a hotel, frequent their friend’s apartment on campus to experience a semblance of normal life.
“I feel lucky because I have found friends and we can cook and do things together, but if I hadn’t, it would be a lot worse,” Zahnen said. “I miss the kitchen, but I appreciate [Food Not Bombs] because it’s good food and healthy food.
On Sunday, November 14, Food Not Bombs’ packed menu featured spicy vegetable soup, salad, tomato focaccia and plum cobbler. The selection available the following Wednesday 17 November includes Mediterranean and Thai style salads, vegetable stew and rice.
In addition to organizing distributions every Wednesday and Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Little Acorn Park, organization is also dedicated to bringing door-to-door meals to students in hotels.
On Thursday, November 18, the group served approximately 90 meals at four hotels, including the Ramada, Kimpton, Pacific Suites, and Best Western South Coast Inn.
“I couldn’t believe it at first. I was overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people, ”Zahnen said. “I can’t believe it’s free and that they come to hotels. The support has been incredible.