HOLIDAY HELPING: Food Arrives by Bus and Mail

The results are in from two campus-connected food drives:

Food on pallets, behind vintage double-decker bus from London.
Next stop: Yolo Food Bank.
  • Saturday, the Davis community stuffed a Unitrans bus with 2,500 food items for the ASUCD Pantry, benefiting students in need.
  • Last month, the Davis campus community “mailed” in some 950 pounds of food in Mail Services’ 15th annual Holiday Food Drive. The Davis campus donations went to the Yolo Food Bank.

Saturday’s food drive took place in the parking lot of the Davis Food Co-op, which partnered with Unitrans on its annual “Stuff the Bus” event. Donations filled the first floor and seats of one of the ccampus-city transit system’s vintage double-decker buses from London.

“The Davis Food Co-op estimated the value of the donated food at $3,500,” said Jeff Flynn, director of Unitrans. With this collection, The Pantry can allot five food items each to 500 students.

The need is increasing, Unitrans General Manager Jeff Flynn said in remarks for a KCRA Channel 3 television news report from “Stuff the Bus.”

“People don’t think of the faces of hunger as being undergraduate students going to UC Davis,” he said. “But it can be anyone. It can be a student. It can be your next-door neighbor.”

Mail call! Dinner is here!

Mail Services personnel pose in front of donated food.
Bradley Simmons, interim CEO of UC Davis medical Center, standing, second from left, poses with Sacramento campus Mail Services personnel amid food they collected from their campus community during the 15th annual Holiday Food Drive. The Sacramento collection went to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Also pictured, from left: Front row — Gregory Olsen, Peter Chacon, Arthur Johnson, Loren Jenkins and Tracy Miranda. Back row — Colin Stambusky, Tina Mooneyham and Charles Johnsen. (Wayne Tilcock/UC Davis)

Mail Services conducts its Holiday Food Drive on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, asking people to use the campus mail to make their donations. Mail Services personnel pick up the donations with outgoing mail and make sure all the food “mail” gets to the food banks.

This year, the Sacramento collection totaled a record 3,133 pounds of food for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, beating the previous high of 2,603 pounds in 2017.

Over 15 years, the Davis and Sacramento campuses have combined to donate more than 33,000 pounds of food — more than 16.5 tons.

More holiday helping

●︎ TOYS FOR TOTS — After the Holiday Food Drive, Mail Services launched a toy collection in partnership with the Marine Corps Reserve, seeking new and unwrapped gifts for Yolo County children up to age 16. You can drop your donations in any of the blue bins around campus, or use campus mail — simply leave your donations with your unit’s outgoing mail. The collection started Dec. 2 and runs until Thursday (Dec. 12).

On-campus barrels:

Off-campus barrels:

●︎ VIRTUAL TOY DRIVE — In previous years, UC Davis Children’s Hospital organized a drive-up donation point for toys. This year is easy, too: You can donate online, from the comfort of your home. Under the new format, hospital staff have assembled sample wish lists (items that would do well as gifts for the youngest patients, and other items that patients have asked for), and are asking for funds to make those purchases. The site presents suggested donation amounts and notes what each amount could buy — $15, for example, could cover the cost of five infant rattles, six boxes of crayons, six jigsaw puzzles, 12 decks of playing cards, 15 toy cars or 15 cans of modeling compound.

●︎ MERCER CLINIC PETS — Staff and retirees of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are once again rounding up donations for their Holiday Pet Baskets and Winter Pet Coat and Sweater Program, an all-volunteer effort, benefiting pets belonging to homeless people. The program, now in its 25th year, is for dogs and cats that receive care at the Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless in Sacramento. Like the pet baskets and coat and sweater program, the clinic is also an all-volunteer operation with a UC Davis connection — UC Davis veterinary staff and students run the monthly clinic.

This year's distribution, set for this Saturday (Dec. 14), will include at least 500 coats and sweaters, organizers said, plus 130 pet baskets to be assembled with the help of the Mercer Clinic’s student officers.

Donations to the Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets and Winter Pet Coat and Sweater Program are tax-deductible and can be made as follows:

  • Online (through the UC Davis Giving website)
  • Check — Payable to “UC Regents-Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets.” Mail to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Dean, P.O. Box 1167, Davis 95617-1167, Attention: Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets.

For more information, contact co-coordinator Eileen Samitz by email or phone, 530-756-5165.

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