Van Family - September 2017

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Did you know that nearly one in every four children in Sacramento are food insecure? In an effort to end childhood hunger in our community, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) partners with schools and afterschool programs throughout Sacramento to provide healthy food to children and their families.

One of the schools we partner with is Peter Burnett Elementary School in South Sacramento. Monthly distributions at the school are facilitated by Principal Manuel Huezo and his dedicated team of volunteers. SFBFS provides the school with fresh produce, bread, canned and boxed items.

“It is important that we, as a school, address the basic needs of each child. Mentally and emotionally, but also physically - it’s hard to learn if you’re hungry!” Principal Huezo said as he handed out food to families.

The distribution at Peter Burnett Elementary serves an average of 150 families each month. One family that benefits from the distribution is Cu Van, her husband and their third grade daughter which attends Peter Burnett Elementary. The food distribution has become a necessity for Cu’s family since her husband is out of work and has recently returned to school. After working for a company for 15 years, Cu’s husband learned that his high school diploma from Thailand did not transfer to the United States and he was subsequently laid off. Through the distribution, they receive items that are household staples. “It’s so helpful and I really like that there is fresh produce and new things to try. I like that we get cereal to give my daughter for breakfast – that’s her favorite,” she said.  “When you see how many families are coming, you can tell that it is really helping a lot.”

After attending the distributions, Cu learned about the other programs and services that SFBFS provides. She encourages her neighbors and friends to visit SFBFS’ Web site, uses social media to spread the word about distributions and will translate the information about our distributions and programs into Mandarin and Cantonese for her neighbors and friends.

Reflecting upon the success and popularity of the food distribution, Principal Huezo shared his vision: “I want the families to know that this is a place where they can go for help. The food distribution has helped bridge a gap between the families and the school and it is my hope that the distribution helps establish trust. For example, if there is a child whose relationship with the school is not so great, inviting the family to receive food can make them feel welcome and help start that necessary communication.”

With the help of our dedicated partners like Principal Huezo and Peter Burnett Elementary, SFBFS helps so many families like the Van family on their journey toward self-sufficiency and financial independence. 

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