Story and Photos by Irma Cervantes, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator
Nima Mashhoon remembers going hungry many times during his childhood.
“I faced hunger and it’s a terrible thing that should never have to happen to anyone,” said a very emotional Mashhoon. “People face many hardships, and hunger shouldn’t be one of them.”
That’s why the CSUB biology graduate student decided that he would do everything in his power to make sure that no one in Kern County would go hungry during this Thanksgiving holiday. So he came up with the idea of starting a food drive here on campus.
“I made some flyers and posted them around campus, but wasn’t getting much attention,” he said. “That’s when I asked some professors for help, and they began to help spread the word.”
That’s when the donations really started to come in. What Mashhoon had hoped would be a few hundred items, had resulted in almost 1,700 donations.
“When I heard what he was doing, I wanted to help,” said CSUB undergraduate biology student, Esther Ibarra. “I helped spread the word and donated items myself. I, too, participate in causes to help others, and I always want to contribute when I see someone else doing the same.”
This isn’t the first time that Mashhoon has done something to help others. Last summer, he contacted a friend that works in the golfing business and together they were able to provide thousands of dollars worth of equipment to be used by participants of the Special Olympics of Kern County. “They experience hardships beyond their control, out of their hands,” said Mashhoon. “We have the ability to help, so we should.”
This afternoon, Mashhoon and friends from CSUB dropped off all the collected items at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, which provides meals to over 400 individuals in need every single day. Although it began as his idea, Mashhoon says that by no means was this a one-person effort.
“I owe so much to the professors that helped me spread the word and gave out extra credit to their students for donating, and brought in items themselves,” said Mashhoon. “I can’t help the world, but if I can do my part, and inspire one or two other people to do the same, then I know I have made a difference.”