Community gobbles up Thanksgiving food items from VUSD event

Sequoia High School distributed 24 pallets full of foodboxes to community members in preparation of the Thanksgiving holiday

VISALIA – As Visalia Unified School District continues to expand its new motto of “One Visalia Connected,” and having its students give back to the community, Sequoia High School hosted a community food distribution event.

On Nov. 16, Visalia Unified School District’s (VUSD) Sequoia High School partnered with Central California Food Bank and Food Link Tulare County to host their third annual event  to help those in need as the holiday season closes in. During the event, they distributed 24 pallets of food and still had to turn individuals away. 

“It was truly a community effort with Sequoia High School, Visalia Law enforcement, VUSD staff and support, Central California Food Bank, the media outlets who helped promote the event,” Adolfo Reyes, principal of Sequoia High School said. “We were happy to play a part in serving our community.”

Sequoia High School is a continuation program dedicated to serving the whole student, according to their website. This is the third year this event was held and it will not be the last. Reyes said they carry foodboxes on site for those who need it throughout the school year. They are also gearing up for another distribution event in December. For those who came too late can access additional food from both the Central California Food Bank and Food Link Tulare County.

“Many people face challenges and if we can offer a bit of hope and help, then we will continue to do our part,” Reyes said. “But the biggest gain is when our students, VUSD staff, and our community partners all work together for a common good, we can accomplish anything. This is the lesson I want to ensure our students walk away with.  Plus part of the Sequoia school mission is ‘To flourish and lead in a diverse world to create positive change.’”

Before the pandemic, Reyes said they used to host a Thanksgiving feast for his students. During the pandemic they decided to help feed the entirety of the community instead. The boxes contain things like non-perishables, eggs, a whole chicken and fruits and vegetables.

“We are excited to see events such as the Sequoia Food Distribution occurring with our staff and students,” Kirk Shrum, VUSD superintendent said. “This an example of One Visalia Connected-connecting students to meaningful activities outside of the classroom.”

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