Chaparral Elementary is hosting a drive-thru food drive to help the more than 750 families receiving assistance from a Poway-based food bank.
The food drive will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 in the Chaparral Elementary School parking lot, 17250 Tannin Drive in Poway. Donated items will be given to The Community Food Connection.
To make the event festive, music will be provided by the Poway High School Jazz Ensemble, there will be cheering by Poway High’s Senior Ambassadors and Key Club members, and there will be volunteers from Rancho Bernardo High School.
“For the past 11 years I have chaired the adopt-a-family Thanksgiving basket program where each class put together a box of food and collected gift cards,” said Ginger Couvrette, who is also the Poway Unified School District board’s vice president. “Each year we have assembled over 40 baskets and (collected) $1,500 for a total of 440 baskets and $16,500. This year that format doesn’t work, but there is more need than ever.
“With support from our local high schools we will be making it a drop-off event with live music and lots of energy,” Couvrette said. “We encourage our community to drive by and drop off nonperishable goods, gift cards or cash donations.”
Among the non-perishable items requested in canned, boxed or bagged packaging are:
• Canned meats and fish (tuna, chicken, etc.).
• Canned vegetables and fruits (tomatoes, corn, green beans, peaches, etc.).
• Bagged or canned beans of all sorts, bags or boxes of rice of all sorts, couscous, lentils, peas, etc.
• Boxed foods, such as cereal, oatmeal, crackers, cookies, boxed treats, various oat, almond and regular milks.
• Prepared meal helpers, such as Hamburger Helper, rice dishes, macaroni and cheese, pasta dishes and salad dressings.
• Baking goods, such as flour, sugars, evaporated milk and condensed milk.
• Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other beverages.
• Nut butters, jams, jellies, honey and maple syrup.
• Individual packaged foods for school and the elderly, such as applesauce, puddings, raisins, prunes and cranberries.
• Cooking oils and vinegars, including olive oil and corn oil.
• Condiments, including mustard, mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, pickles, olives, salsas, soy sauce and hot sauces.
Gift cards will also be accepted.
The Community Food Connection is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps locals in need from five area communities. It provides more than 750 families each week boxes filled with fresh, frozen and non-perishable foods during drive-up distribution times. They are 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the food bank behind Trinity Church, 14047 Twin Peaks Road in Poway. COVID-19 protocols are followed, and volunteers place the food in vehicles.
In addition to food donations, volunteers and other assistance is needed. This includes volunteers working at the facility throughout the week or as drivers to pick up food from local grocery stores. Also volunteers to provide administrative and special event support. Financial donations are needed to purchase extra food and items, such as cleaning supplies. Fresh produce donations from local yards are welcome. These include oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. Services, such as printing and copying, are also needed.