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Turlock Unified, City to celebrate New Year with free meal for students, families
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Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth shares a meal with children at the inaugural Farm to Family Feast, which aims to support student nutrition during the holiday break. - photo by Journal file photo

To help ensure that every student and their families receive a healthy meal to kick off the New Year, Turlock Unified School District and City of Turlock will host their second annual Farm to Family Feast on Wednesday with hopes of serving close to 800 free meals this year.


“[This meal] provides additional support and nutrition to our students and families over the lengthy holiday break,” said TUSD Superintendent Dana Salles Trevethan.


This is the second year that TUSD and the City of Turlock have joined together to host the free luncheon, which began to celebrate the ongoing progress of the District Farm. During the inaugural Farm to Family Feast last year, Trevethan said that the schools were able to serve over 350 meals — an amount they are hoping to more than double this year.


“We believed our combined efforts would better support our students, families and community and align to our ‘kindness’ efforts and initiatives,” said Trevethan. “It also gives us an opportunity to take care of our very own who need some extra resources this time of year.”


Mayor Gary Soiseth said the feast is a chance for Turlock families to share a meal not only with their actual family members, but with the larger “Turlock family” that includes their friends, neighbors, educators and Soiseth himself, who will also be in attendance.


“We forget that there are folks right here in our city that will go hungry during the holidays, even while we live in the most agriculturally productive area in the country,” said Soiseth. “This annual feast is an opportunity for families to create new, positive memories during the Christmas season. I’m glad the Turlock Unified School District and the City of Turlock have partnered together once again to put on this great event.”


This year’s luncheon will include a delicious tri-tip meal with all the trimmings, including dessert, all made from local, fresh food. Trevethan said the luncheon costs nothing to provide as the District coordinates food donations and all staff and efforts are volunteer-based on the day of the event “in an effort to give back and make a difference for students and families.”


Trevethan said that this year’s luncheon will also feature a decorated backdrop for students and their families to take pictures, as well as a bike drawing at each of the three luncheon sites.


The Farm to Family Feast is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 28 at three luncheon sites: Julien Elementary School, Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy and Cunningham Elementary School. For more information, call 667-0663.