Teacher initiates food drive to help Juarez Colonia


Daniela Garcia

Lazo arranges donations ready to be sent off to the colonias.

Daniela Garcia, Reporter

One teacher is working to make a difference by organizing a food drive to help families in the Chihuahua Colonia in Juarez. Pre-Ap English teacher Erika Lazo and students are bringing food items such as beans, rice, canned foods, pasta, cereal, powdered milk, oatmeal and cooking oil in exchange for five community service hours per month. Lazo started the project in October and is collecting until June.

This project reached across the border.

“My uncle is a deacon in a church in Cd. Juarez. He asked my mom and I if we’d be willing to help the families in the Colonia across from UTEP,” Lazo said. “I work with my uncle and mom on the drive.”

Lazos’ willingness did not come as a surprise to some.

“I thought it was very generous for Lazo and her mom to be helping out,” sophomore Erin Garcia said. “I wasn’t surprised because Lazo is a very kind person.”

Lazo has reached out to others for help.

“I approached Luis Andrade, Marsha Sandoval and Olga Perez to put up my flyers in their classrooms and let students know about the food drive,” Lazo said. ”But it’s open for anyone.”

Students have the opportunity to help and earn community service hours.

“The fact that we could earn community service hours was convenient,” Garcia said. “That is a smart way of encouraging students to donate.”

Lazo determined the value of hours each item is worth.

“I went off the price of the item,” Lazo said. “The items that were $1 are one hour, and items less than $1 are less than an hour.”

One student is more focused on need.

“Although getting hours is really nice, I am more worried about helping people who are hungry,” sophomore Abel Ochoa said. “I’ve provided cereal, beans, rice and oatmeal.”

After the food is collected, Lazo meets with her family to sort out and package the food to make sure each at least 10 families have an even distribution of items.

“All I hope is that these families get the help they need and more,” Garcia said.  “And for more students to find it in their hearts to donate and brighten people’s day.”

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