Many people have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Rola Hamdi is no exception. The single mother of an eight year old and a fulltime student at MiraCosta, Hamdi felt a sense of panic as her business consulting work evaporated. “I haven’t received unemployment so far, and I suddenly found myself wondering how I was going to make it—how we were going to eat. I’ve never been in this kind of situation before. It’s very humbling.”
Then she received an email about MiraCosta’s Campus Assessment, Resources, and Education (CARE) Program hosting a Farmer’s Market Drive-Thru for students. “It gave me hope,” she said. “The next day I put my son in the car and told him we were going on a field trip and we got in the car line at MiraCosta.”
When she got back home and discovered the overflowing boxes of food the CARE volunteer had placed in her trunk, she was overwhelmed with emotion. “They gave me so much, I couldn’t believe it. I had everything I needed to through the month—milk, cheese, eggs, produce, pasta rice…everything!”
While she was more than grateful to receive the much needed assistance, accepting donated food was difficult for Hamdi. “Honestly, it’s hard for me to talk about this. I feel a sense of shame around needing help. I’ve always been able to provide what we need.”
Hamdi encourages other students who are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic to take advantage of the Farmer’s Market Drive-Thru. “MiraCosta does so much to make school affordable for students, and this is yet another way they are going above and beyond for us. The drive-thru is a tremendous resource if you need support right now.”
Despite the challenges she faces, Hamdi remains optimistic. She is double majoring in accounting and liberal arts, with an emphasis on business and technology. She plans to get her Master’s degree and feels confident that she can find a job in her industry, once she graduates.
“When our lives go back to normal, and I’m working again, I’m going to pay it forward. The CARE food drive-thru was an eye opener for me. Donating and volunteering can have a major impact on someone’s life and I want to be a part of that, too.