Aggie Heroes: Ruby Bal and Co Hawes

Ruby Bal and Co Hawes pose with shopping cart at grocery store
Ruby Bal, left, and Co Hawes are pictured at Trader Joe’s last week, with a shopping cart full of food. They were joined by Layne DeLorme on a grocery run for The Pantry, using the snack money from a canceled event. (Layne DeLorme/UC Davis)

Each quarter, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences invites students to take a break from the stresses of finals to stop in for coffee, hot chocolate and quick snacks like macaroni and cheese or oatmeal. With no in-person finals this quarter, it wasn’t going to happen, which gave the three staffers who organize the event an idea.

“I asked my team if we could use the budget we typically use and deliver supplies to some resources available on campus,” said Layne DeLorme, student engagement coordinator for Undergraduate Academic Programs.

DeLorme, outreach coordinator Ruby Bal and student leadership coordinator Co Hawes used the $200 budget for the event to make a trip to Trader Joe’s Monday (March 16), filling a cart to the brim with soups, trail mix, granola bars, peanut butter pretzels and other nonperishable foods, then added some leftover instant macaroni and other items from their fall study break event. They dropped it all off with The Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, which is distributing food to students in need and hosting The Pantry through spring break.

“We were feeling self-conscious about being in the grocery store,” DeLorme said. “We looked like we were doomsday prepping or something, but it felt really good to be able to have the autonomy to choose programming at last minute and be flexible.”

She said the three staffers were thinking about “people who rely on those resources — how can we help?”

After braving the grocery store, DeLorme, Bal and Hawes added stickers encouraging the recipients of the food to be safe and kind to each other, and dropped it all off at the Memorial Union. DeLorme said it was quiet there, but she was happy to be able to help.

Information on the schedules for the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and Pantry is available online.