From Bishops’ Hearts to Hungry Hands

A look into the Hearts to Hands canned food drive.

Tables+with+bins%2C+for+the+Hearts+to+Hands+food+drive+from+November+4%2C+2021+to+December+13%2C+2021%2C+near+the+front+of+the+drop+off+area+filled+with+bags+of+canned+food+highlight+the+initiative+the+Bishop%E2%80%99s+community+has+when+getting+involved+to+help+out+others+in+need.+

Bella Gallus

Tables with bins, for the Hearts to Hands food drive from November 4, 2021 to December 13, 2021, near the front of the drop off area filled with bags of canned food highlight the initiative the Bishop’s community has when getting involved to help out others in need.

Bella Gallus, Staff Writer

As you made your way through the parking garage last week, you might have caught sight of a table with bins full of bags of canned food under a large sign reading “Canned Food Drive by Hearts to Hands and The Lucky Ducklings Club.”

This holiday season, Hearts to Hands has come to Bishop’s, as the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade Thanksgiving Chapel focus. Director of Service Learning Jacqueline Gomez said, “Every year we try to connect our faith and service through these amazing projects.” 

For example, in the past, the middle school has participated in Thanksgiving food drives. This year they are making meal kits for people in recovery homes through Episcopal Community Services (ECS).  

The Bishop’s community has a strong history of service learning, making it the optimal place for a food drive. “It is the collective responsibility of our Bishop’s community to give back to others. If we all gave a little it makes a big impact at the end of each project,” Mrs. Gomez continued.

 The Hearts to Hands food drive is sponsored by the on-campus Lucky Ducklings Club who focus on hunger and homelessness in San Diego. Emma Marshall (‘22), one of the four founders and leaders of the club said, “[The Lucky Ducklings club wants to] be able to donate as much as possible,” which is why they decided to make it a competition, for which grade can collect the most cans. Candi DeMoura reported that “quite a bit of food [has been raised], already just from Bishop’s alone,” and as of Monday, November 15, Mrs. Gomez reported that the tenth grade is currently in the lead.

Starting on November 4, cans have been piling up in the bins at the front of the drop-off area. Every week the cans are counted and tallied, and according to Mrs. Gomez, the collection bins were filled every morning when she walked by. Even though it is a competition, and we have a competitive community, the larger focus is to give back and help the people around us. “What I want students to know is if you bring in one can you are making a huge difference,” Mrs. Gomez said. 

There were also additional opportunities, one of which being delivering donation bags throughout the La Jolla and Pacific Beach areas for Hearts to Hands. Chloe Shiue (‘24), handed out bags for collecting food on Saturday November 13, and said, “It felt really nice to meet people who were really thankful that we were doing this.”

Hearts to Hands was founded by an agent who works at Compass real estate agency, Candi DeMoura. Candi always loved volunteering, and after moving to San Diego in 2013, she witnessed homeless people in La Jolla searching for food. From there, Candi said, “I started looking into food insecurity,” and then she founded Hearts to Hands. 

Since then, Candi has been organizing an annual community food drive in the Pacific Beach and La Jolla areas for eight years and counting. She collects and distributes the canned food to the San Diego Food Bank, Feeding America, and Triton Pantry, and collects animal food for the San Diego Humane Society. Candi also packages bags of food and delivers them to families in need in La Jolla and Pacific Beach. Every year since starting Mrs. Gomez said, “she has raised over 16,000 pounds of food.”

The Hearts to Hands Food Drive ends on December 13. With the donations from Bishop’s and other collected cans from the Pacific Beach and La Jolla areas, Candi is hoping to meet her goal of 7,777 pounds of food this year.