San Andreas, CA…On Monday the 19th members of the Angels-Murphys and West Calaveras Rotary Clubs came to the Food Bank bright and early to deliver Christmas dinner to 212 Santa’s Express households throughout the county!The Resource Connection’s Santa’s Express makes holiday meals a reality for families that may not otherwise have them. The program started in 1983, distributing just five boxes of food; today, Santa’s Express distributes more than 1,000 holiday food baskets to families and individuals in need living in Calaveras County. Santa’s Express relies on over 200 volunteers and community partners (including Calaveras Transit – sponsoring our “Stuff the Bus” events at grocery stores throughout the county; Calaveras County Highway Patrol collects new toys, many local businesses, the Calaveras County Service Unit of the Salvation Army, several local churches). Beyond donations, local churches provide meals to volunteers during set-up and distribution days.
For parents and families who cannot afford gifts for children at Christmas, Santa’s Express provides children with a new unwrapped toy. Parents actually get to go “shopping” with local volunteers to pick out the toys for their children.
Santa’s Express receives no foundation or government funding; it relies entirely on donations and volunteers. The number of agencies and individuals that came together to make this event a success is overwhelming. Through their efforts meals and presents were delivered to 212 families and households throughout the county.
The Resource Connection received $1,000 from Mark Bolger owner of Rimrock Farms & Assistant Director of Calaveras Cannabis Alliance ; and $500 from Brett & Meg Gonsalves of Rolling Hills Bookkeeping & CCA Treasurer; Tina Mather – Food Bank Manager; $500 from the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance and Forest Meadows in Murphys,held their Sixth Annual Forest Meadows Food Drive on Tuesday; Donations totaled $4,705.00 and 1,839 pounds of food!
Avery Middle School held a food drive for Santa’s Express and collected 1,305 pounds food and Jenny Lind Elementary School collected 459 pounds. The Angels-Murphys Rotary stopped by with a check for $5,900,and the Cal-Waste Recovery Systems, not only came with a large group of volunteers for Santa’s Express they also donated $1,000.
The First Congregational Church in Murphys, donated a check for $1,149.52 from the Crop Walk to End Hunger that was held in September, a large bin of food for The Calaveras Food Project, toys and handmade baby blankets. The blankets were blessed at their service. The West Calaveras Rotary donated $1,100 and Toys-for-Tots worked tirelessly for months to ensure that every child has toys for Christmas.
A special thanks to everyone who donated goods and/or volunteered this holiday season. Your time and efforts are appreciated.