Tiffany Richards, a student at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development, created a project to send baskets of food home with her students at Central Elementary School in Commerce City over Thanksgiving break. Student ethnicity at the school is 88 percent Latino. A large percentage of the remainder of the school population is made up of refugee families from Kenya, Sudan and Somalia. For many students, their only source of food comes from the free breakfast and lunch program at the school, and because of that, holiday breaks create anxiety for many students who will not eat regular meals.
Richards worked with the school’s homeless liaison to arrange to send Thanksgiving baskets to as many families as possible. Colleagues at the School of Education were asked to help with the effort by donating nonperishable food items such as cranberry sauce, green beans, fruit cocktail, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy, stuffing mix and any other items.