SAN YSIDRO – San Ysidro School District’s Willow School filled over 300 bags of food and distributed 225 turkeys to Willow School families and local community members during the school’s bi-monthly food pantry.

Hundreds of community members filled the school courtyard at the Mercado Willow Market as families stocked their grocery bags with up to 25 pounds of produce provided by Feeding America, as well as turkeys donated by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez as part of Operation Gobble 2016.

“Our Mercado Willow Market has grown in popularity since we launched in September of this year,” Willow School Assistant Principal Consuelo Carranza said. “We want our students, families and overall community to know that we care and we are here for them.”

Forming a line that snaked around the front of the school, market-goers waited patiently as they approached stations of various produce items and had their choice of fresh oranges, kiwis, potatoes, yams, bananas and pears.

“Our first priority is to provide our students with a proper education in order to prepare them to succeed in the real world,” San Ysidro School District Superintendent Dr. Julio Fonseca said. “But we recognize that the health and well-being of our students is also critical when it comes to their success.”

Before the market, four to five turkey giveaway tickets were distributed to students at each of the school’s K-8 classrooms. After those were given away, unclaimed turkeys were given to families on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition to Operation Gobble 2016, Assemblywoman Gonzalez invited SDG&E, the Immigration Center for Women and Children and the Urban Corps of San Diego, along with other organizations, to provide resources and information to Willow families from booths in the market.

The Mercado Willow Market is part of San Ysidro School District’s ongoing commitment to supporting all of its students and families. IKEA and Park Haven Apartments in San Ysidro donated bags to families to use at the market.

“We are fortunate to have strong ties with incredible organizations who are helping us truly make a difference in the lives of our students and families,” Board of Education President Marcos A. Diaz said.

Upcoming Mercado Willow Market dates:

  • Nov. 30, 2016
  • Dec. 9, 2016
  • Dec. 16, 2016
  • Jan. 13, 2017
  • Jan. 27, 2017
  • Feb. 10, 2017
  • Feb. 24, 2017
  • March 10, 2017
  • March 17, 2017

Photo Captions:

SYSDWillowMarket1: Over 200 turkeys were given away to Willow families by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez during Willow School’s bi-monthly open food pantry.

SYSDWillowMarket2: Hundreds of Willow School families lined up to fill their bags with up to 25 pounds of produce donated by Feeding San Diego.

SYSDWillowMarket3: Principal Manuel Bojorquez and Assistant Principal Consuelo Carranza of Willow School helped fill hundreds of bags for local community members at the bi-monthly Mercado Willow Market.