December 24, 2008 > Food and toys given away
Food and toys given away
By Dustin Findley
Photos By Dustin Findley
Milpitas Firefighters and Food Pantry gave out food and toys to long lines of people on December 20.
The Milpitas Food Pantry is located right next to the Spring Valley Bible Church, where the firefighters handed out the toys.
Volunteers had to control traffic along Main Street as recipients and volunteers pushed shopping carts full of food or returned empty carts for the next people in line.
Food items included turkey, soup, dry starch, and other canned goods. One recipient was happy with the "big turkey."
The inside of Spring Valley Bible Church was as full of toys as the line outside was full of people. The large collection of toys was divided and somewhat organized by age and boys/girls. Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted people who waiting in line.
There was a raffle for two fully decorated Christmas trees to be personally delivered the winner's home by the fire engine.
Although many people brought their children to the toy giveaway, children were not allowed to go to the toys, and had to sit while their parents searched for the perfect gifts. One firefighter assured the children that they couldn't go in because it would spoil the surprise of Christmas morning.
Food that was not given away on December 20 was given away on the following Monday, December 22. After that the Pantry resumed normal operation.
About 310 families showed up at the Food Pantry, when around 400 signed up, which is actually "a pretty good turnout" according to Micah Lang, Milpitas Food Pantry Volunteer. He also explained that a lot of people just came for the toys, and didn't want food.
George Perez, firefighter and coordinator of the holiday toy drive, said that "upwards of a thousand people" signed up for toys.