By Evan Staton
For the past several years, every year November, Amarillo College has given out free bags of holiday groceries to those in need of food for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. This year COVID-19 has disrupted a lot of projects and events at AC, with the Thanksgiving bag outreach being one of those events getting added to the list.
“Due to COVID-19 and the recent surge in cases in the Amarillo community, The Advocacy & Resource Center has made the difficult decision to not conduct our traditional Thanksgiving Bag Giveaway project this year,” said Jordan Herrera, the social services director. “Our priority is to keep our student’s safety and health in mind,” she said.
Herrera pointed out that this year students in need can receive checks from the CARES Act to help with holiday meal expenses. “The Amarillo College stimulus CARES Act is a Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant in place this semester to assist students with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19,” said Ashley Guinn, the social services coordinator. “The U.S department of education determined the eligibility requirements for Stimulus CARES Act Emergency Assistance program is a one-time emergency aid grant for currently enrolled AC students.”
Guinn noted that not every student will receive CARES Act money. It depends on the eligibility of the student, but, for the students that do get it, it will offer them a new way to pay for things this season.
“Although we know our alternative solution will not take the place of the project, we are hopeful that the holiday gift will make an impact to bring the holiday season to life during these unprecedented times,” said Ashley Guinn.