Most Viewed Stories
St. Francis students donate 70 turkeys
For Thanksgiving, students of St. Francis of Assisi School decided the time was right to help the needy. And the Yuma Community Food Bank needed their help.
The students turned over 70 turkeys they purchased with money donated by their families.
"We have a lot of people in need of help pretty much year-round in Yuma," Susan Bostic, principal of St. Francis, said.
After examining the many organizations they could assist, Bostic and school community liaison staffer Olga Galdamez brainstormed with the student council and decided the food bank was really in need because despite having stores of food, the agency rarely gets turkeys, Bostic said. She along with Galdamez and 13 students personally delivered the birds to the the
food bank Tuesday.
Last year as part of their confirmation requirements, eighth-graders and their teachers organized a similar drive, but this year the entire school was involved, Bostic said. Students' families pledged $25 each, raising a total of $800 that went to buy the turkeys.
"Our kids are taught since kindergarten that outreach is really important," she said.
Karina Merino, 13, an eighth-grader at the school, said it was a good way to give back to the community.
"We didn't think we'd get as much as we did," Karina said. "We sent out a flier to the whole school with a cutout of a turkey and the fliers said the $25 was to 'adopt' a turkey."
Many of the students are grateful for a chance to actively help those in need, she noted.
Amanda McShane, 14, also in the eighth grade, said that all the teachers thought it was a great idea.
"I know if I didn't have as much as I did, I'd appreciate it if other kids helped," McShane said. "You know, do unto others as you'd like others to do to you."
This was the largest single donation of turkeys ever to the food bank, said Dianne Borgard, its development manager.
"So many people in Yuma County are lucky to have food on the table period," Borgard said. "This is a way to celebrate Thanksgiving and what it is all about."
Donations have fallen this year and more people are seeking food than donating over the past year, Borgard said. She explained she doesn't know exactly how much of a drop in donations the food bank has experienced compared to last year but she guessed it was about 20 percent.
The food bank distributes emergency food boxes to the needy and supplies food to over 50 agencies in Yuma County such as homeless shelters, youth groups, safe houses and senior nutrition centers, according to Borgard.
The public can drop off food donations at the food bank at 2404 E. 24th St., between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, Borgard said.
The food bank also welcomes volunteers to work in its office, warehouse or do customer service. In addition, it needs people to clean and to pick tree fruit that is donated.
The food bank receives many of its referrals from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, family assistance agencies or churches, but anybody who knows of hungry residents should recommend them to the food bank, Borgard said.
The food bank is already preparing for the Christmas season and is seeking anything that typically goes on a holiday table, such as sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie, Borgard said.
"We want to be able to provide food for the table for those in need to have a family gathering on the holidays," she said.
William Roller can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858.