Food, toy drives down to final hours
More toys needed for tots
With literally hours to go, Grace Munoz-Rios, coordinator of the local Toys for Toys drive, is putting out an urgent request for citizens to help.
“It’s not doing well at all,” said Munoz-Rios of the lack of toys donated so far. She said the goal is to give one large toy and one small toy to 5,000 children, and right now they are about short about 1,000 children.
“I have a waiting list. Usually, that’s kids not in school or an emergency situation,” she added.
The Toys for Tots drive is one of several efforts this holiday season to help those less fortunate. Most food drives are doing well, but more is needed.
“It’s coming out fantastic,” said Elva Beltran, who is heading up the Porterville Area Coordinating Council’s drive in conjunction with the Salvation Army, the Orange Belt Board of Realtors and the Comision Honorifica Mexicana-Americana, Inc.
El Granito Foundation that has been providing meals, food baskets and toys at Christmastime for decades, is also wrapping up its holiday food drives. It put out a plea for more donations this week, saying it needs food, jackets and toys.
The Coordinating Council will hand out 740 boxes of food on Sunday to 526 pre-screened families. Beltran said families of four or fewer will get one box of food, while families of more than five will get two boxes. A few large families — more than 10 — will get three boxes.
The boxes will have chicken, canned goods, potatoes and more.
All of the families were screened over four days when the Council took applications. Beltran said every family had to meet the same income criteria as FoodLink requires.
She also said they did not have to turn anyone away, but she encourages people to continue to donate after this weekend so any emergencies can be handled.
Students at Ducor Elementary collected nearly 600 cans of food, Los Robles about 1,000 cans and Buckley Elementary 940. There has also been numerous people who have donated cans or money.
KTIP’s and the Recorder’s Cage the Hunger food drive has done well, said Elissa Carey, office manager for the radio station.
“We have almost two full bins,” she reported Wednesday. “We’ve had city officials, county officials and listeners drop off food,” she added.
“It’s amazing to see the community come together,” she said.
The Council will hand out the food boxes on Sunday, while El Granito will distribute food from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 383 W. Date. El Granito’s Children's Christmas Party will be held 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, at the Date address.
There is still time to contribute and for more information call the Coordinating Council at 793-0213, El Granito at 784-2788 or Toys for Tots 289-9381.
There are other drives going on as well, including the Toys for Military Tots, Family Crisis Center, Porterville Rescue Mission and St. Anne’s Food Pantry.