Phoenix community organizes food drive ahead of teacher walkout

A north Phoenix community is taking action for their kids by organizing a food drive to help feed children when and i...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 7:51 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 7:51 PM

A north Phoenix community is taking action for their kids by organizing a food drive to help feed children when and if teachers walk out on Thursday.

Organized by Julie Read, who met with several officials with the Arizona Education Association, they organized to hand out food to those kids who rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school and who will be most affected by the walkout.

"Whatever side you're on I think the biggest concern is the children," said Nathalie Velasquez.

Read posted a call for help on Facebook and so far she says the community response has been overwhelming.

In the last three days, they have been able to gather enough food to help feed about 150 kids.

"We're looking for boxes of cereal, granola bars, Nutri-Grain bars, Easy Mac, applesauce, fruit cups, things that kids could easily prepare and make themselves," she said.

Velasquez opened up her business, Nathalie & Co. Dancewear and Little Things at the Shops at Norterra, near Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road as a place where the community could come and drop off items.

"People have been calling me, how can I help? What are you looking for? Like today I think we had like 10 people come by," she said.

They're working with at least six schools within the Deer Valley Unified School District. They'll be collecting food until Tuesday night when it will all be handed out to schools and teachers will prepare the rest.

"The teachers are helping to put together care packages and make sure that the kids get food into their backpacks before they leave school on Wednesday," Read said.

It's not known how long the statewide teacher walkout will last once it goes into effect on Thursday, Read just hopes it can all be resolved as quick as possible.

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