Multiple food drives on Saturday will help Fresno families fill their pantries and their tummies over the Christmas holidays.
The Central California Food Bank and Cargill will host a drive-through food distribution for more than 500 families starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at Cargill, 3115 S. Fig Ave., until noon or until the food is gone.
Cargill is holding the annual distribution in partnership with the Food Bank to assist families who are battling food insecurity with 764 turkeys, beef, nonperishable staples, tortillas, eggs, and other items. The food giveaway will take place rain or shine.
“The Cargill team is honored to partner with Central California Food Bank and their continued amazing efforts to help bring a bit of relief in a time of such uncertainty,” Cargill complex manager Katrina Robertson said. “Helping feed the world now more than ever is such a noble cause that continues to provide a sense of purpose for us.”
Clovis East Restocks Food Bank Shelves
The Food Bank’s shelves will be replenished today (Dec. 15) when a convoy of trucks will head from the Clovis East area carrying thousands of food items collected by students and staff.
Event organizer Jamie Arredondo, a teacher at Clovis East, estimated that more than 50,000 items were collected by Clovis East, Reyburn Intermediate, and Boris, Fancher Creek, Freedom, Miramonte, Oraze, Reagan, Temperance-Kutner, and Young elementary schools.
They include cans of peas, soup, chili, tuna, and corn, bins of dried beans, boxes of cereal and pasta, bottles of water, and more.
“We fill up huge trucks,” Arredondo said of the annual drive that’s been held for nearly 20 years. “Over the last few years, we have included our feeder elementary schools, so that way students are a part of the tradition of giving back to our community from the beginning of their time with us.”
The collection effort began Nov. 27 and ends Friday when the convoy departs from Clovis East at 3:15 p.m. and heads for the Food Bank.
Central Unified’s Holiday Joy
Meanwhile, another food drive on Saturday will benefit families in Central Unified School District through the Holiday Joy Food Distribution.
More than 2,000 people will benefit from the 15th annual event, which began in the late ’80s as a way to fight hunger during school breaks and provide relief for the district’s neediest families.
Each year student leaders rally their school communities to collect food donations, such as kid-friendly essentials like milk, tortillas, rice, and fresh produce.
The food giveaway will be from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Central East High School’s Dakota parking lot, 3535 N. Cornelia Ave., Fresno.
Families who cannot be there Saturday or have specific needs can visit the Teague Community Food Pantry, which opened in August and has thus far served more than 1,000 people.
Holiday Joy is supported by the Central Schools Well-Being Project, funded by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefits Programs, the Morgan Stanley Choices Grant, Central California Food Bank, First Quality Produce, Producers Dairy, Golden Bear Provisions, and Central Unified students, parents, and staff.