Assembly line of staff filling bags with food for kids

Ending Hunger for School Children

It was a chilly Thursday afternoon, but the weather wasn't slowing the small team of volunteers who made their way into the storage area at the back of the Vacaville Storehouse food distribution center.

The group chatted happily as they began the process of setting out the food items they would soon pack into dark plastic bags for distribution to local elementary school students.

“We'll do 124 bags today,” explained Cindy Christison, co-program coordinator for the nonprofit End 68 Hours of Hunger program, as she checked the lists for each school. “We have 30 for Markham, 35 for Hemlock, 25 for Fairmont, 10 for Kairos and now, 24 for Padan, thanks to NorthBay Healthcare.”

A $5,000 donation from NorthBay Healthcare in 2017 enabled the group to add Padan Elementary School to the list of local elementary schools included in the weekly Friday food distributions.

End 68 Hours of Hunger gets its name based on the approximately 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive at school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive at school on Monday morning, explained Christison. The local branch of the national program was organized by a group of Genentech employees, including Christison, who wanted to bridge that time gap for local children in need.

“It's not their fault that they are hungry on the weekend. If we can take that stress away, they have a better chance. They can focus more on their school work come Monday,” said Christison. “There is a correlation between how they do in third-grade and how they will do in high school and we want to give them the best chance at success.”