Community Teams Together for Vista Teen Outreach Thanksgiving Food Baskets


Vista Teen Outreach throughout the school year provides students with backpacks, which contains food to help them through the weekend. This is the 2nd year that they have put together a Thanksgiving dinner for the teens families. Last year they delivered turkey dinners to 124 families and this year they delivered meals to 188 families. Each box contained a frozen turkey or ham, as some people do not have an oven to cook a turkey, potatoes and gravy, stuffing, vegetables, cranberry sauce and all the trimmings, including a Costco pumpkin pie. Jed from Del Rey Avocado Company in Fallbrook donated 400 boxes to put the food in.

They served more families this year because unfortunately, there was more of a need. They served 188 families which can have from 4 to 12 people in a household. That is a lot of food. In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, also included in the food box this year was cereal, shelf stable milk and peanut butter and jelly so the children will have breakfast and lunch for a week while they are out of school.

On the first night, about 75-100 people came together to prepare the meal boxes and 50-75 people arrived the next day to deliver the food. The Vista community has once again really come together. Vista Teen Outreach was over budget because they had only planned on serving 150 families. They didn’t want to say no to anyone, so they posted their need on Facebook and they received a lot of donations through their website. The community came together during the last minutes to help them with this cause.

Datron World International is their Major Sponsor, so they contributed the most. A lot of people brought money to TJ Crossman’s Auto Repair, who is a Sponsor, and where everything was assembled at his business parking area. The Vista Rotary contributed money and time and helped with deliveries. Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts showed up to help along with the Young Marines.

This year the volunteers were more professional looking. The volunteers all had T-Shirts to wear so they were identifiable to the dinner recipients when they came to their doors. Last year the drivers would deliver to their homes but had no indication of who they were.

They gave the applications to each of the schools that Vista Teen Outreach has pantries at, and they sought out the families in need. The families had to fill out an application and the schools sent them back to Vista Teen Outreach. On Monday night, the volunteers called all of the homes to confirm the deliveries, as some people had moved since the application was turned in 2 weeks ago. So they needed to confirm if they were picking up their box or it would be delivered.

TJ Crossman said, “It’s nice that we have humanity here and people to help out, I believe all people are genuinely good. This is Vista!”

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