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Cougars come through for the hungry during Thanksgiving season
Cougars come through for the hungry during Thanksgiving season

In the run-up to Thanksgiving, Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School students have been keeping their hearts and minds on local families who struggle to put food on the table.

On November 22, the Food Bank for Monterey County picked up about 10 barrels' worth of food donated by Cougar students and their families. Seventh-graders alone raised $600 for a shopping trip to Safeway; about half of the money came from donations from their dance and half came from selling hot cocoa, cider, and seasonal baked goods during the cold mornings.

Men load full Food Bank barrels into van

In addition to collecting items for the food bank, Compass circles decorated placemats to be used at the free community Thanksgiving meal offered at the Monterey fairgrounds.

Food bank menu ideas

Of course, the food bank serves families in need throughout the year. If you would like to donate, try to choose food with some nutritional value and check expiration dates. Some fun menu theme ideas include:

The Holidays are Here: Canned ham, canned potatoes/sweet potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, canned vegetables

Breakfast of Champions: Boxed whole grain cereal, oatmeal, breakfast squares, cereal bars, canned fruit, canned juice, and canned/powdered milk

Dinner's Ready: Combinations of foods that can be used to prepare meals such as spaghetti and canned sauce, rice, refried beans, canned salsa, canned tuna, pasta, and canned meats such as chicken, Spam, chili, stew and hearty soups

Kits for Kids: 100% juice boxes, granola bars, dried fruit, applesauce cups, peanut butter and jelly, cereal, macaroni and cheese, and canned spaghetti.

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