How CVESD helps those in need for holidays

How CVESD is helping needy families for the holidays
Posted on 12/13/2019
Schools collected thousands of canned goods for distribution to needy families.

Students, parents, school staff and District employees collected thousands of canned goods and toys through the District’s 2019 Food and Toy drive to help needy families during the holidays.

Dry and canned food items were collected at every elementary school from Nov. 4 to Nov. 21 and toys were collected from Nov. 4 to Dec. 4. Every year, CVESD partners with the Chula Vista Welfare Council and the Chula Vista Police Activities League to make the food and toy drives possible.

While CVESD is no longer collecting food and toys at each elementary school, anyone who wants to donate canned or dry food items or toys can still do so until Dec. 19. Toys can be dropped off at the Education Service and Support Center, located at 84 East J St., Chula Vista, and food donations can be dropped off at the Beacon Family Resource Center, located at 546 G St., Chula Vista.

Nearly 500 families have been selected to receive food and/or toys through the separate drives that share a culminating event on from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 17. That’s when parents can visit a warehouse set up as “Santa’s Shop” to pick up a box of food items and choose toys for their children while the kids are at school.

Volunteers, including many District employees, helped organize the toys by age group to make it easier for parents to find the perfect gift for their children.

Families applied to receive food donations through their Volunteers helped sort and pack thousands of dry and canned nurses, said CVESD Project Manager Melissa Minas. Though 208 families will receive boxes of food this season, she said the ultimate goal is to pack a total of 600 boxes of food, so the majority of them can be distributed later on.

“We know families are in need all year long and so we try to ensure that we can provide support throughout the year,” Minas said.

The Chula Vista Welfare Council was founded in 1917 to provide emergency food assistance for families in need. For more than 100 years, this local organization has made sure that families in our District enjoy a joyous holiday with boxes of non-perishable food and a $25 grocery gift card.

In addition to the welfare council’s drive, the District’s Family Resource Centers selected 250 families to receive toys and food. The Chula Vista Community Collaborative helps secure donations and purchase toys for its client families.

Both District-sponsored distributions occur on Dec. 17.

“The Food and Toy Drives remind us that we are one community and one world… it reminds us that we are united in our goal to assist those who need help in making a child’s holiday a brighter one,” said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D.

The District works in partnership with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to ensure students at four high-need schools have access to food during the upcoming holiday break. Thanks to the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, about 30-60 students at each of the schools will receive two weekends’ worth of food during the holiday break. The backpack program provides weekend food packages every Friday to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend, when free school meals are unavailable. With the break, in addition to provisions of two weekends’ worth of food, the students will also receive a “Family Pack” of groceries.

“Basically, the students are provided as much as they can carry. We have to be mindful it is not too heavy, yet also be conscious of the fact that these are students who are facing food insecurity on a daily basis,” said Chris Carter, the San Diego Food Bank’s vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs.

For those in need of additional assistance and support this holiday season, the following organizations stand ready to help:

2-1-1 San Diego – dial 2-1-1 to be connected to community, health, and disaster assistance.

Community Through Hope – visit for assistance with homelessness and food insecurity in Chula Vista.

San Diego Food Bank – call 1-866-350-3663 for information on food distributions throughout San Diego County.
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