Annual Thanksgiving School Outreach

thxgiving-gobble-gobbleIt has been a blessing for us to help school age families in need that may not know where to go or may not want to ask for help to feed their families over the Holiday season. As many families are planning parties and buying gifts, many are just trying to get through the day and feed their kids a healthy meal. Each year has proven to be a bigger success and we receive an enormous amount of gratitude from the families. Many of them have even come back and done some volunteer hours with us in appreciation. We are hoping to have 300+ Holiday food baskets to distribute to the local school families this year.

Families are chosen through a collaboration of the School Counselors and Health Technicians to help families dealing with a sustainable struggle such as a special needs child or parent, a tragic or life changing event such as a terminally ill parent or child, loss of parent, recent loss of job or change in family structure. They are then cross referenced with other facilities to avoid duplication. Families are contacted for designated pick up dates. If a family cannot pickup, we do make arrangements to deliver during school hours to the home the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Once chosen, each family is given a “basket” (actually it’s a box or number of bags) of food with all the ingredients for a complete Holiday meal. We present this gift to the children as a raffle prize they have won to avoid any negativity among the other students

We are asking if you or your affiliated group/facility would be interested in pledging a set amount of meals towards our goal. All “baskets” must be confirmed by November 4. Items can be delivered starting Nov 18. In lieu of purchased items, a $30 donation can be made to cover 1 meal.

Each box feeds a family of 4-6. “Baskets” should typically include:

  • A $10 grocery gift card for a meat of their choice or a frozen turkey or ham
  • A box of mashed potatoes or bag of fresh potatoes
  • Gravy mix or premade jar of gravy
  • Canned yams and small bag of marshmallows
  • 1 lb. Package of butter
  • Box of stuffing
  • Canned broth
  • 2-3 cans of vegetables or fresh vegetables for 4
  • Canned cranberry sauce
  • Pre-made pie (pumpkin or apple), or items to make at home such as pumpkin pie mix, condensed milk and pie crust
  • Bag of rolls or bread item
  • Any other item you feel would help the family. Sometimes a card, paper products or Holiday accent is nice

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. We appreciate any assistance you may be able to offer. Please contact me with any questions or for more information.

Janine Dykstra
Pantry Manager
2734 Johnson Dr. Ste. E, Ventura CA 93003
805-861-3809 cell /