Castaic Elementary hosts food drive for hurricane victims

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During a two-week food drive, students at Castaic Elementary School collected approximately 800 cases of ramen to donate to victims of Hurricane Maria.

The food drive from Sept. 25 to Oct. 6 was conducted in partnership with the Ramen Rangers, a group of community volunteers that donates lightweight food including ramen to victims of natural disasters.

“They did a wonderful job and I was so impressed,” said Eddie Diamond, owner of the Ramen Rangers who picked up the donations Friday.  “They filled up my whole truck with food… This is the most successful thing I’ve ever seen.  It’s incredible what these kids did.”

The pile of ramen donated to victims of Hurricane Harvey following a two-week food drive at Castaic Elementary School that ended on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. Courtesy of Tonya Fernandez

The effort to gather and donate lightweight food items first began when Diamond made a plea to his nearly 4,300 Facebook friends to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Diamond asked his friends to mail or drop off ramen and ready-to-eat meals to his team of Ramen Rangers so he could send the food to Texas.

“Before we knew it we had about 2,800 pounds of ramen that took up the whole living room but the storms kept coming… so we kept appealing.  Some people donated three or four times,” Diamond said.  “We sent all of that to the Ventura Theater and they distributed it to Texas to the Houston Food Bank.”

Piles of ramen and light-weight food collected by Ed Diamond and the “Ramen Rangers” following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. Courtesy of Ed Diamond

One of these pleas to donate light-weight food items was seen by Tonya Fernandez, a parent at Castaic Elementary School whose son Kolby is in the second grade.

“They got his second grade teacher involved and before you know it, they got the entire school involved and wrote up a flier,” Diamond said.

Food purchased by Tony Fernandez and Kolby Fernandez, a student at Castaic Elementary School, for the school’s two week food drive that ended on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. Courtesy of Tonya Fernandez

For two weeks the students gathered light-weight food items including noodles, pasta, cereal and mac and cheese to give to Diamond and the Ramen Rangers.

“I’m so proud of Kobe and his classmates at all the giving people at Castaic Elementary and all of the teachers and all of the kids that were so compassionate,” Diamond said.

Diamond said the donations will be sent to a food bank in New Jersey that is working with relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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