Local group brightens holidays for needy families

Stacy Pearson, left, and Natalie Massa, from Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit, along with Gloria Estrada, of Williams, helps last week to fill boxes of food for needy families during the annual Colusa County Food Basket Association’s holiday food giveaway.

When it comes to helping the county’s lower income families at Christmastime, none do it better than the Colusa County Food Basket Association.

On Friday, more than 400 families on Friday received boxes of food stables, baking products like flour and sugar, and everything they need to prepare a holiday feast fit for a king. 

“The Colusa County Food Basket Association has been in existence for about 23 years,” said organizer Patty Hickel.

This year, 425 boxes of food were given out at the Colusa County Fairgrounds on Friday, but weeks of hard work went into the project leading up to handing out the goods. 

“All Colusa County schools had canned food drives, along with churches and private individuals that helped out,” Hickel said. 

Families have been hit hard this year with the closing of the county’s only food bank, and volunteers have been working overtime to make sure those in need have more than just a ham dinner. 

Monetary contributions from local businesses, individuals, St. Stephens’s Episcopal Church, and the Yuba, Sutter, Colusa United Way, the Food Basket Association purchased items like peanut butter and potatoes, and perishables, including milk, butter, and eggs, along with a canned ham for Christmas dinner. 

“We have a great group of volunteers,” Hickel said. 

Among the Food Basket Association’s partners are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Colusa Lions Club, and another 30 or so individuals. 

“One day we sort and one day we fill boxes,” Hickel said.  

Colusa County 4-H members helped set up for the food organization on Wednesday, and the Colusa High School Basketball Team helped hand out and carry boxes on Friday. 

Hickel said since the closing of the food bank, which was able to purchase food for the annual holiday giveaway from a grant, the community has really stepped up to help those in need at Christmastime. 

All the food was purchased locally. 

“We don’t go out of town,” Hickel said. ■