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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Giveaway Day Feeds 650 Families

Nov 29, 2023 09:50AM ● By Michele Townsend, photos by Michele Townsend

The women of power got together (left to right) Yolo Food Bank Director Karen Baker, YCCA CEO Jeneba Lahai, WUSD Board President Sarah Kirby Gonzales, and Mayor Martha Guerrero.

WEST SACRAMENTO (MPG) - Yolo County Children’s Alliance hosted the 18th annual Community Giveaway Day at River City High School, on Saturday, November 18. This year, 650 meal kits were handed out. Each kit contained a turkey, a box of fresh produce and a box of dry and canned food such as stuffing, gravy and corn bread mix. In addition to the food, more than 1,100 kids received new coats and blankets. Also available were gloves, hats and books. There was also a flu shot clinic available for those in need of their flu shot. All for free.

Karen Baker turkeys Yolo Food Bank

Yolo Food Bank Director, Karen Baker handing out turkeys.

It takes the fifteen staff members from YCCA Resource Center about four months to collect, plan, organize, coordinate and finalize this event.  They do however fundraise for this event throughout the entire year. YCCA has more than 50 employees that work this event and coordinate an additional 80 volunteers from throughout the region.

Sacramento Police Department

The West Sacramento Police Department was well represented.

In one area, there were tables set up, where a list of organizations offered resources. Each organization had a variety of giveaways that were handed out. In addition, there was coloring and activities for the kids. Resource sponsors included: NAMI, CommuniCare Health Centers – who had representative from multiple areas of care. First 5 Yolo, Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP – free internet), Yolo County Office of Education, West Sacramento Police Department, Washington Unified School District, Lighthouse Charter School, Yolo Federal Credit Union and Welcome Baby all had tables set up with free gifts.

NAMI Kendall Doten

Kendall Doten with resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offering resources and information on mental illness and disorders.

An event like this takes many more sponsors than this though. Additional sponsors that helped make this event such a success include: The County of Yolo, City of West Sacramento, PG&E, 100+ Women Who Care, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Recology Waste Zero, Raley’s, Project Linus, Bogle Vineyards, Jackrabbit Brewing Company, Mercy Coalition, Walmart Foundation, Chris Ladesma & Maria Simas, Capitol Tech Solutions and Yolo Food Bank, who was huge part of the event.

Joe Gray Communicare NARCAN

Akello Salden and Joe Gray representing Communicare, highlighting resources for opioid addiction and providing NARCAN and Test strips.

According to a press release put out by Yolo County Children’s Alliance, “The goal of this event is to ensure that every child has a warm winter, and every family is connected with resources they need to build meaningful ties to their communities and each other.” Each year it is a little different than previous years, but every year is a success. This was a free event that needed no pre-registration.

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