Local food distribution efforts switching gears for December

USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes are available for pick up at Waggoner Elementary school during lunch pick up. Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Two of Winters food distribution efforts are making temporary changes to adhere to challenges of the holiday season during the current Yolo County stay at home guidance.

Winters JUSD Food Distribution
Cathy Olsen, the Director of Food Service at Winters Joint Unified School District, the school district will continue to provide their food distribution during the scheduled holiday break from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3, 2021, with the exception of one week off on Dec. 28.

The food distribution will resume to the regular schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2021.

On Dec. 22 they will be providing a special box with a goal of five meals per child, a USDA box and a CSEA box from Terra Firma Farm.

Olsen said the number of meals per a child is dependent on if the full amount of food that is ordered arrived timely. She has faced challenges during the pandemic of food items not always being completely fulfilled.

The CSEA boxes are being funded from Winters Farm to School. Olsen said Winters Farm to School has been providing the funding for local farm direct produce.

“The community support we have received has allowed Winters Farm to School to continue providing support during the pandemic,” Olsen said.

Gloria Lopez, a Winters Farm to School board member, said one of the main goals of Winters Farm to School is to make sure that students in Winters receive fresh local foods and produce.

“The year 2020 has been challenging for many, but we have a group of dedicated and passionate supporters that have donated generously despite the fact we have not been able to have our traditional fundraisers,” Lopez told the Express in an email. “In turn, Cathy Olsen and the Food Service staff at Winters JUSD have continued to include local foods for local kids and their families and, at the same time, support local producers.”

Eat Well Yolo location change
The Eat Well Yolo Winters distribution on Monday nights is changing both day and location.

Zane Hatfield, Yolo Food Bank Director of Programs, said Monday, Dec. 7 was the last day of the Monday evening distribution.

The new distribution will officially begin on Wednesday, Dec. 9. The new Wednesday Eat Well Yolo food distribution will begin at 4 p.m. at the Winters High School student parking lot located on Railroad Avenue.

Hatfield said they relocated the distribution due to the unprecedented growth in the number of participants.

“The location was changed to the high school to better accommodate the sheer amount of vehicles and individuals accessing food,” Hatfield said. “Unfortunately the HHSA location was smaller and perfect for a small walk up distribution, but as our distribution has begun serving around 150 individuals each week, the distribution had to move into a larger space.”

Walk up services will be available at the new location on the north-side of the parking lot near the exit, but the distribution is geared mostly for drive-thru pick up. 

Hatfield said this is a temporary change during the pandemic and while WHS is not in session. Yolo Food Bank plans to continue having some food access at the HHSA location starting in February, but are still working out the details of what that will look like.

Details and updates for the Eat Well Yolo food distribution are available on the Yolo Food Bank’s “Find Food” page, https://yolofoodbank.org/get-help/ and on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/yolofoodbank.

*Updated to reflect number of available meals per child.

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