FedEx delivers food to Oakland school kids

December 17, 2009 12:14:57 PM PST
FedEx trucks are delivering much-needed food to Oakland schools -- preventing students and their families from going hungry over the upcoming holiday break.

This is a fantastic, collaborative effort to combat hunger -- it's a grassroots program that identifies hungry school children. The need is exceptionally great during this current economy. But this time, there wasn't a lack of food, it was a lack of transportation to get it there until FedEx pitched in more trucks.

"I look forward to it. I get to help out the community. I grew up in East Oakland, so you know, I can't wait to hand out the meals to the kids that need it," said FedEx delivery driver Randy Powell.

Powell enjoys donating his time to help transport bags of food to some 17 schools in Alameda County, who are part of a weekend food program helping feed needy children.

"My normal routine -- it kind of beats that sometimes," said Powell.

The county's community food bank started this service a few years ago, with the help of local FedEx drivers.

"Kids were coming to school hungry on Mondays and they couldn't concentrate. And any adult can tell you, if you're in your job, and you start to get hungry, the focus really starts to go, and that's really the case for kids too. They can't study hungry," said Brian Higgins of the Alameda Co. Community Food Bank.

"When I was in class I sometimes will get hungry," said Greenleaf Elementary School student Allan Ahumada.

5th grader Allan Ahumada is one of 100 Greenleaf Elementary School students in East Oakland who have been benefitting from the donated food; twice a month he gets to take a bag of goods home to his family. This is the last delivery before the holiday break. Allan's mother Sheila acknowledges that every little bit makes a difference.

"We do really need it. My husband was working one day a week, so it's really hard to keep up with this economy and having two kids and a part time job and so it helps really much," said parent Sheila Ahumada.

From the home to the classroom, the gift of food is priceless.

"Hungry kids cannot perform to their max, so it does makes a difference outside and inside our schools," said Rodolfo Perez of Greenleaf Elementary School.

The plan is to continue growing this food program to more schools. As the Alameda County Community Food Bank says "Hunger is not a seasonal problem, it's year-round," so people are encouraged to keep giving.


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