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Preschoolers donate food to needy
The enthusiasm of the preschool children was tangible as they loaded more than 200 boxes full of food to giveaway to low income families in Corning on Friday.
The Tailgate Food Giveaway held at New Life Assembly of God church was a community project of the Head Start Preschools in Corning.
"This is our way of giving back to the community," said Deb Meents of Corning Head Start.
With help from the adults, the preschoolers put empty boxes on the conveyor belt then filled them with perishable and non-perishable food items, never tiring and nary a complaint.
"They are doing such a fine job," said Lizett Arriaga of Corning Head Start.
Angela Holliday said her daughter, Echo, had been asking everyday, "do we get to give away food today."
"She was so excited she could hardly wait," Holliday said. "When I told her 'yes, today is the day,' she jumped up and down."
The line of people waiting for the boxed food was long — very long.
"I'm living on social security and by the end of the month I usually have very little food," said Carol Stewart of Corning. "The food prices are rising and the packaging is getting smaller. Most of my friends on Social Security aren't making it either."
Stewart said she has had to change her eating habits.
"I'm really glad this is fresh food because I can't afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables much anymore because they are so expensive," Stewart said.
Adam Kingsley, supervisor of the regional North State Food Bank, said Friday's food give away was one of 15 being conducted in the county this year.
"We will hand out food to every person in this line today until the food runs out," he said. "We focus on low income families, but we don't turn anyone away."
Stewart's granddaughter, who goes to Woodson Elementary School, was with her in the food line.
"I'm just grateful my granddaughter gets a good breakfast and lunch at school everyday," she said. "Her family is having a hard time making ends meet, just like me."
According to Stewart, a lot of her senior friends, many who were in line, eat at the homes of relatives as much as they can.
"This is a really difficult time and every little bit helps," she said. The event was coordinated through a partnership of the regional North State Food Bank in Chico, Tehama County Community Action, and Head Start Preschool.